How to Have a Fun Summer on a Hot Dog Budget

Summer is here. Your kids are finally free from school and they’re eager to make the most of it. But how can you make the most of it without breaking the bank?

Fortunately, we’ve got some tips that’ll help you create those summertime fun memories without building up excessive debt. Use the summertime months to teach your children lessons about life including financial responsibility, the importance of family time, and how to save (or make!) a little money along the way. Try these activities for a fun, financially responsible summer!

Have a yard sale!

If there’s one lesson to impart to your children about saving, it’s that less is more. Encourage them to find one or two things per day that they could contribute to a yard sale, then have it at the end of the month. Involve your kids in the process as much as possible. They can even head up their very own marketing team by creating posters to hang around the neighborhood and using some word of mouth advertising by telling their friends about it. When the sale is done, have a conversation with your kids about how to spend the money. A family vacation? A new toy? Or perhaps into a savings account or college fund for future use. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about budgeting while encouraging them not to hold on to things that don’t bring them joy anymore (hello, Marie Kondo).

Start a (very) small business!

One way your child can learn the value of hard work is to earn a wage for doing a job, like paying them an allowance. If you’re not into paying an allowance for normal household chores, help them set up a small business where they can see the rewards of hard work while making a little money on the side. Some examples include window washing, weed pulling, grass mowing, planting a garden, or other landscaping projects. You could even go the traditional route of having a weekly lemonade stand. Any of these small projects would be a fun way to spend some time together this summer and help teach the life lesson of the value of money and hard work.

Plan a stay-cation!

The average cost of a family vacation can break the budget. For a family of four, a week of vacation, excluding travel, can cost up to $2,000! The best parts of a vacation are the shared experiences, and there’s no need to go too far to get those. Especially where we live. Find a local festival or cultural event and plan a vacation in your home town! Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been to the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum, City Museum, The Magic House or even just a picnic at Forest Park. You could even stay in a hotel and have a party at the swimming pool for one night to help make it feel more like a vacation. Show your kids the rich culture of their surroundings. Use your stay-cation as a time to appreciate the togetherness … and the savings!Blog
(Pictures from top left to bottom right: St. Louis Zoo North Entrance photo credit: Christopher Carter, St. Louis Museum of Art photo by mastahanky/Flickr, City Museum photo by Explore St. Louis, and The Magic House photo by Passing Down the Love)

Summer 2019 is going to be a great time for family fun and making unforgettable memories without spending a fortune to do so.
Live and enjoy,
Chelsea Springli

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