Sunday, June 07, 2009
Question Of The Week
A summer budget. Almost everyone I know is on one. Losing a job or having a current one change....seem like good reasons to be careful with spending. And, if none of those issues have affected you, take a look at your 401K or stock portfolio. THAT will push you in the right direction. (And also likely give you nightmares!)
I actually like living on a budget at times. It forces me to find less expensive options for entertaining the kids. It encourages creativity. It gets us outside doing things I think should be parts of kids' lives, anyway. Picnics....nature walks....scavenger hunts....trips to the neighborhood pool. Free and fun!
We're big believers in memberships because they save us money. We received our zoo membership ($70 for the family) weeks ago and after 3 trips there already, it's paid for. The rest of the summer is bonus! Worlds of Fun ($100 per person) - the same. State Park passes (usually around $50 for the year) are great if you live in an area with many close by. We used ours in Colorado often, even just for a short late evening walk to see the deer. And, museums (about $80 for the family)....we have none right now....but I think these are the wisest investments for kids. Being indoors, they're comfortable year round. Plus, kids are learning while playing - one of my favorite tricks. All of this to say......if you're a family on the go, a membership or pass to a favorite destination will serve you well over the summer.
I'm working on making fun picnic food for the kids to keep this part interesting. McDonald's is easy - and we do that sometimes, too - but packing food at home is both cheaper and healthier. Fruit kabobs, pita pouch sandwiches, homemade snack mix....just to name a few.....need some more ideas!
***What are you doing to make summer more affordable? Travel, food, everyday suggestions....we could all use some inspiration, I'm sure. Share some of your ideas!