With inflation pushing prices higher for an array of products and services from gasoline, groceries and home goods to clothes, cars, and electricity, you may find that stress clouds your visions of relaxing or exciting summer days.
The high prices don’t mean that it’s impossible to have a memorable, budget-friendly summer, however. You might just need to start thinking of new ways you can get the most from the season while saving money in the process. Here are six ideas to get you started.
Go to the Minors
If you enjoy sitting in the stands watching pro baseball but feel the pinch from big-league ticket and concession prices, consider taking in a minor league game. Minor League Baseball offers a fun afternoon or night at the game, typically for a fraction of Major League Baseball prices.
You may also find a more intimate, small-town feeling than what you’ll experience at a bigger stadium. Fans can root for more than 200 teams among 19 leagues in 44 states and four provinces. Whether you support the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Syracuse Mets, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Worcester Red Sox, or Charlotte Knights, you’re likely to save some money in the process.
Go Outside and Play
Outdoor activity can become costly, but you can revel in the great outdoors without buying a speedboat or ATV or joining a country club.
Explore hiking and biking trails in your area. Find a canoe outfitter and paddle down a river for a few hours. See if a local wildlife refuge offers bird-watching walks. Look into community pools or get into a walking regimen that takes you through interesting neighborhoods.
If you’ve wanted to do more gardening, this summer could be the time to plant new flowers or grow vegetables. Imagine preparing summer dishes from tomatoes and greens you grew in the backyard and saving on grocery bills at the same time.
Vacation Closer to Home
If you’re used to booking plane tickets or piling the family into an SUV for distant adventures, consider looking for fun spots closer to home. You may be able to limit what you’ll spend to get there and cut the hours you’d otherwise spend on highways or in airports, reaching your destination sooner.
No doubt exploring new places far away has its charms, but so does discovering, or revisiting, lakes, beaches, mountains, rivers, state parks, campgrounds, or amusement parks only a couple hours from home.
A B&B on a beautiful lake or a small cottage near the beach can make great settings for a summer getaway with fewer hassles and potentially lower costs than more elaborate trips. Check state parks as well, or privately owned campgrounds, for options to camp or rent a modestly priced cabin.
Share the Costs
Whether it’s a vacation or a dinner party, consider sharing the fun and the costs with close family or friends. Going in together on a vacation rental can mean lower expenses and bigger or more luxurious digs than you’d pay on your own. And what’s more casual and relaxing than a potluck cookout or dinner party?
Brainstorm ways to keep cool, save money and enjoy yourself all at once. You might be able to save a little on your own electric bill by spending a few hours entertaining yourself away from home with free or low-cost, air-conditioned activities.
That might be a matinee at a movie or live theater, time relaxing with a good book at the library, or getting together with friends to go bowling. Or you could consider volunteering with a food pantry, nursing home or mentoring organization, to name three examples, staying cool inside while supporting others in your community.
Summer vacations and activities aren’t the only way to save. Remember tried and true methods to lower routine costs, such as making your home more energy efficient, preparing more meals rather than dining or ordering out, looking for sales, shopping with coupons and discount codes, and focusing spending on needs more than wants.
With a little ingenuity and effort, you should be able to experience great times this summer while staying cool about your finances.
For More on Personal Finance Topics
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We hope you found this helpful. This article is based on information available in May 2022 and is subject to change. It is for general information purposes only. Our content is not intended to provide legal, tax, investment, or financial advice or to indicate that a particular TD Bank product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.