COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

10 expert savings tips to make the most of summer
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/10-expert-savings-tips-to-make-the-most-of-summer-786

Posted: 2015-06-02

by Kathryn Flynn

Summer is finally here, which means most families will be filling up the next 8-10 weeks with backyard parties, beach trips and sporting events. And as you know, these longer, school-free days can get expensive. There will be numerous trips to Target to re-stock your supplies of sunscreen, bug spray, popsicles and swim diapers. And you can also bet on a few extra trips to the ATM to pay the babysitter so mom and dad can enjoy an outdoor concert or two. So is it really possible to enjoy a summer that your future self wonít hate you for? Some of the top personal finance blogs seem to think so.

Here are 10 tips from the experts to help you plan for a memorable summer without draining your bank account. And remember Ė be sure to keep up those automatic deposits into your 529 plan throughout the entire year!

Top 4 savings essentials for young families

1. Find an affordable summer travel destination

The Simple Dollar blog recommends five areas that offer memorable experiences for a fraction of the cost of other more well-known places. Perhaps youíve always wanted to visit Napa Valley but your vacation fund ended up going toward more kid-friendly theme parks. Consider a weekend trip to Upstate New Yorkís Finger Lakes Ė home of gorgeous vineyards and Savingforcollege.com Founder Joe Hurley!

2. Create a summer travel budget

If you want to travel this summer, Wise Bread insists you plan ahead with a designated vacation budget. Remember to keep it realistic. As mentioned in the previous slide, while you may dream of Napa, your wallet says Upstate New York. A savings account dedicated to your trip will help you stick to your budget, and by cutting down on unnecessary expenses you might be able to find more ways to fund it.

3. Get your finances organized

U.S. Newís My Money blog suggests preparing for summer expenses in advance by saving $50 a week for activities. Itís also a good idea to make a list of affordable events and destinations so youíll always have a last minute, cheap, back up plan on hand.

4. Get creative about summer camps

Get Rich Slowly reminds us that there is nothing scarier than two months of schedule-free children. But letís face it - summer camps arenít cheap. Start by looking into your local churches and schools to see if they offer any free or discounted options. Next decide how much you want to (and can afford to) spend. Create a budget for summer camps just as you would for travel.

5. Find frugal ways to have fun

Have you ever considered teaming up with other neighborhood parents to entertain the kids? Personal Finance blog Money Crashers suggests taking turns with other families hosting dinners and kids activities, so that you can share the costs (and the work!)

6. Develop a routine

Although summer days are technically longer, the season itself tends to be over before you know it. The Money Saving Mom makes sure her family gets the most out of summer by creating loosely scheduled daily routines. By having a plan, youíll be more likely to get more fun activities in while sticking to your budget.

7. Face the facts

One of my favorite pieces of advice comes from Daily Finance, and thatís to be honest with yourself. If you know you spend more on certain items during the summer months, increase your budget so you donít come up short.

8. Donít forget to use coupons

Coupons arenít just for groceries. In fact, many summertime events offer promo codes you can use to get discounts as long as you plan ahead. GoGirl Finance suggests signing up for emails from entertainment venues to get access to the best deals.

9. Make extra income

Having the summer off is great, but many teachers end up spending their time off looking for ways to bring in extra money. The Penny Hoarder blog lists some interesting ideas beyond typical babysitting jobs. For example, Moms or Dads might consider teaching English as a second language since these jobs tend to pay well and generally a flexible schedule.

10. Keep your teens busy

You may be excited to have your college kids come home for the summer - until they do and then wonít get off the couch. Remember, back at school it was perfectly acceptable to sleep until 1:00pm and watch Netflix marathons all day. Fear not! The College Investor gives some ideas to keep your teens busy with activities that actually look good on a scholarship or job application.

Summer is finally here, which means most families will be filling up the next 8-10 weeks with backyard parties, beach trips and sporting events. And as you know, these longer, school-free days can get expensive. There will be numerous trips to Target to re-stock your supplies of sunscreen, bug spray, popsicles and swim diapers. And you can also bet on a few extra trips to the ATM to pay the babysitter so mom and dad can enjoy an outdoor concert or two. So is it really possible to enjoy a summer that your future self wonít hate you for? Some of the top personal finance blogs seem to think so.

Here are 10 tips from the experts to help you plan for a memorable summer without draining your bank account. And remember Ė be sure to keep up those automatic deposits into your 529 plan throughout the entire year!

Top 4 savings essentials for young families

1. Find an affordable summer travel destination

The Simple Dollar blog recommends five areas that offer memorable experiences for a fraction of the cost of other more well-known places. Perhaps youíve always wanted to visit Napa Valley but your vacation fund ended up going toward more kid-friendly theme parks. Consider a weekend trip to Upstate New Yorkís Finger Lakes Ė home of gorgeous vineyards and Savingforcollege.com Founder Joe Hurley!

2. Create a summer travel budget

If you want to travel this summer, Wise Bread insists you plan ahead with a designated vacation budget. Remember to keep it realistic. As mentioned in the previous slide, while you may dream of Napa, your wallet says Upstate New York. A savings account dedicated to your trip will help you stick to your budget, and by cutting down on unnecessary expenses you might be able to find more ways to fund it.

3. Get your finances organized

U.S. Newís My Money blog suggests preparing for summer expenses in advance by saving $50 a week for activities. Itís also a good idea to make a list of affordable events and destinations so youíll always have a last minute, cheap, back up plan on hand.

4. Get creative about summer camps

Get Rich Slowly reminds us that there is nothing scarier than two months of schedule-free children. But letís face it - summer camps arenít cheap. Start by looking into your local churches and schools to see if they offer any free or discounted options. Next decide how much you want to (and can afford to) spend. Create a budget for summer camps just as you would for travel.

5. Find frugal ways to have fun

Have you ever considered teaming up with other neighborhood parents to entertain the kids? Personal Finance blog Money Crashers suggests taking turns with other families hosting dinners and kids activities, so that you can share the costs (and the work!)

6. Develop a routine

Although summer days are technically longer, the season itself tends to be over before you know it. The Money Saving Mom makes sure her family gets the most out of summer by creating loosely scheduled daily routines. By having a plan, youíll be more likely to get more fun activities in while sticking to your budget.

7. Face the facts

One of my favorite pieces of advice comes from Daily Finance, and thatís to be honest with yourself. If you know you spend more on certain items during the summer months, increase your budget so you donít come up short.

8. Donít forget to use coupons

Coupons arenít just for groceries. In fact, many summertime events offer promo codes you can use to get discounts as long as you plan ahead. GoGirl Finance suggests signing up for emails from entertainment venues to get access to the best deals.

9. Make extra income

Having the summer off is great, but many teachers end up spending their time off looking for ways to bring in extra money. The Penny Hoarder blog lists some interesting ideas beyond typical babysitting jobs. For example, Moms or Dads might consider teaching English as a second language since these jobs tend to pay well and generally a flexible schedule.

10. Keep your teens busy

You may be excited to have your college kids come home for the summer - until they do and then wonít get off the couch. Remember, back at school it was perfectly acceptable to sleep until 1:00pm and watch Netflix marathons all day. Fear not! The College Investor gives some ideas to keep your teens busy with activities that actually look good on a scholarship or job application.

 

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