SUMMERTIME BLUES: Why summer often sucks the life out of your budget

Posted By: Matt in Saving on 05/12/2014 at 07:51:31

Who doesn't love the perfect summer vacation·

The blue skies, warm temperatures and stunning tourist spots come together to create a renowned recipe that you can't help but revel in while you're soaking up the sun.

Those heat waves turn rather frigid if you're not paying close attention to your finances while you're planning this pristine trip or simply enjoying the summer and the day to day expenses.

When the weather turns more inviting, you're more apt to spend money more freely, which could create some budgeting issues between Memorial and Labor Day.

And, money mishaps can go far beyond the specific vacation planning, whether you're talking about paying a fee to use a pool, hitting the theme parks or rocking your heart out during a bevy of outdoor concerts.

So how can you save money in the summer months and still enjoy yourself·

There's no easy answer to that dilemma, other than working a little harder to extend your dollar and replacing one activity with another, less costly one.

Those $100 per person concert tickets might be a luxury that you're already accounted for, but what about subsequent musical acts above and beyond that one. Chances are, you'll want to enjoy more than just one during the four months of summer. In that case, why not look at concerts held locally within your neighborhood in parks that typically are free of charge.

The theme parks pack quite a punch when you consider cost of admission, food and games. One easy aspect that you can eliminate is the food.

Most of these parks offer pavilion or picnic type seating, which is tailor made for a homemade picnic basket complete with sandwiches, sides and snacks made at home.

Feeding a family of four at a theme park might cost in upwards of $50, comparatively to a grocery store trip for much less than half. And as far as the in park games are concerned, put a limit on what is spent. That larger than life panda bear isn't worth $100, so give the kids $10 or $20 each and assure them that is their allotment for the day.

Planning a larger, extended vacation actually might be the easiest way to save money, given the propensity for online travel sites that specialize in hotel room rates, flights and car rentals to offer the lowest rates possible. If you're not taking advantage of that competitive marketplace, you're doing your budget a total disservice.

The largest appeal of summer is the weather, and some can be content just sitting outside and enjoying the sun hitting their face for the better part of the day. But you'll be able to bask in not only the sunlight but a job well done when you take a proactive approach to saving money in the summer.

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