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A Day at the Beach: Save or Spend?

3 Minute Read

Summer time means it’s beach time.

And when it’s beach time, it’s money time too. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  

You don’t have to spend like there’s no tomorrow while you’re at the beach. But you also don’t have to keep every single dollar in your pocket either. You are on vacation after all!

So with that in mind, we created a Save or Spend Guide with our suggestions on what might be reasonable purchases for the beach—and what you might consider taking care of on your own.


Pack a lunch. Instead of $10 for a beachside burger, pack your own sandwiches, chips and drinks for the whole family. This will be much cheaper, plus you’ll avoid the where-do-we-eat-for-lunch? argument.

Buy sunscreen before you travel. You know those beachside, touristy stores will charge you a small fortune for a tiny bottle of sunscreen, so buy it before you leave.

Use your beach clothes from last year. Do you really need a brand-new swimsuit every single summer? Your beachwear from last year is just a year old, and you’ve only worn it five times. It’s practically brand-new anyway!


Rent an umbrella. If you don’t have one, an umbrella rental is definitely worth spending a few bucks on. That few hours of shade will definitely be worth it in the long run because you’ll avoid looking like a boiled lobster for the next few weeks!

Ready to start saving? Download our free budgeting tool today!

Beach toys for the kids. A bucket and a couple of plastic shovels are really cheap—and they could entertain your kids for hours. The beach isn’t the beach without a few toys, so don’t feel bad about spending a little on something for your kids.

Beach toys for the adults. A football, a Frisbee or maybe a bocce ball set (though those aren’t cheap). Lying under the umbrella all day isn’t a bad idea, but getting up and moving around a little isn’t a bad idea either. And don’t forget the books!

Don’t forget to budget for your expenses. You might even use our Baby Step Guide to Vacation to determine where you can afford to go in the first place.

If you can’t afford to get a couple of beach toys, then you probably shouldn’t be going on vacation in the first place. Use your money wisely and enjoy your summer vacation!

What are some things you're going to save money on at the beach this year? Tell us in the comments below.

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