Summer is almost half way over and we’ve been checking things off our bucket list left and right. We made a goal this summer to take Kaeden to as many new things as possible. With our trip to Paris already come and gone – which was one of our big splurges this summer – we had to really be smart about how we were spending our $$$ on fun things to do. Here’s where the big B word got dropped ….. BUDGET (dun, dun, dunnnnnnn). Throwing together a budget is not always the most comfortable of conversations, even for us. I mean, honestly, who has the will power to say ‘no’ to so many amazing ideas and new adventures. (good thing Justin is better at saying no than I am, or I’d be writing this from Bora Bora, eating $1 peanuts so I don’t starve, ha!) So we came up with a way to make a summer bucket list without breaking the bank that I’ve listed below.
- Narrow down your list. I know, I know – This is the HARDEST part. How do you say ‘no’ to summer fun! But narrowing down your list will keep your budget on track and it may not be such a bad thing, because you will already have a list ready to go for next year. How convenient! 😛
- Search for Resident Free Days. Ok, this has been a lifesaver for us in Chicago. One aquarium visit alone can be $$$ (and that’s not including the food and the parking) so we fully take advantage of these free days. A lot of places, like the museum’s and aquariums, usually offer free days during the summer for residents of that area. All you have to do is go online to their website and see when they offer it near you.
- Look for coupons or promotions. When I was younger, my uncle used to band all the cousin’s together, throw us all in a van and take us to six flags. It’s one of my favorite summer memories. But with that many of us, tickets would be outrageous. Even with one kid, prices these days seem to keep going up and up and up. So, what we used to do was bring the coke cans that had coupons for the park on it to save some money on our tickets. Jewel, and usually local grocery stores also do promotions for amusement parks and other summer activities so just ask the next time you’re in there.
- Throw in some FREE activities. Free doesn’t always mean boring! For us, some of the funniest activities on our bucket list have been free. We’ve gone to the beach, the free zoo, bike riding. If it’s free and you can name it, we’ve done it.
- Circle 2 splurge’s from your list and DO IT. This one kind of goes against the rest but sometimes you need to indulge and have a little F-U-N! Whether you really want to take a trip to Italy or just want to go do a weekend in a B&B, it doesn’t matter. Pick a couple higher priced items from your list that you want to do this summer and GO FOR IT! The best part about planning your summer on a budget is that you know what you can mix and match some free with expensive. You just have to be smart about it. 😉