When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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The summer season is notorious for being a time of great spending. Chances are you've experienced the effects of this! Family vacations, sending the kids to camp, updating the wardrobe ... the list could go on and on. You know what? It's okay to spend money! Money's fun ... if you got some.
So in an effort to help you save some money this summer, here are some ideas. They may not seem like huge changes in your daily life, but keep in mind that every little thing adds up and you could save a significant amount of money. A little research and minor alterations can create opportunities for a very fun summer.
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Ditch the car.
Don't worry, we're not suggesting you go sell your car and walk 20 miles a day. Think of the places you frequent. Could you walk, bike or carpool more often? At first it might be an adjustment and slightly inconvenient, but you won't be complaining when you realize the exercise, conversations and outdoor enjoyment you'll experience in addition to saving money on gas.
Making your own meals the majority of the time is healthier and more cost efficient than dining out. Plan some brown-bag lunches with some friends at work instead of going to a restaurant every lunch hour. Organize a potluck meal for your office or small group twice a month. Pack lunches in a cooler when you're off to the pool, park or on a road trip.
Experience your town for free.
Why travel 1,000 miles away for fun and relaxation when there's stuff to do right around the corner? Be proactive about finding free activities around your town. Not all of them will be highly publicized, but with a little investigation, you could find the hidden gem that could be the highlight of your summer. A town nearby possibly has free outdoor movie nights, museum days, greenways, libraries, festivals and so much more. Invite the neighbors or your group of friends along as well.
Get out of the house!
Take advantage of the longer days and sunny weather by getting outside to experience it. If it will help you, get rid of the cable and gym membership for now. Both can confine you indoors and soak up your time and money. Consider renting movies from the library and exercising at home and outside instead.
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Organize your money.
Tell your money where to go. Make a plan. Write it down. If you've never done this, now is a fabulous time to start because before you know it, you'll be shopping for new school clothes, Halloween costumes, and Christmas gifts. How great would it be to be prepared for these events beforehand? If you're a veteran budgeter, now's a great time to refine your plan and still look to cut costs in everyday life. Get started budgeting with Dave's quick tips and resources.
By following these simple steps, there's no limit as to how much money you could keep and debt you could avoid during the summer months. If you keep it up the next month, then the next, and the next, the savings will keep going up!