8 Ways to Have Summer Fun on a Budget

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It’s summer time! Yes, I’m a grown up with a full-time office job Monday through Friday and I’m even working a part-time job one day of every weekend right now but I still get a little excited at the prospect of summer time. So that summer job I mentioned just now, that means I have a little less free time then I would like and it’s a big indicator that funds are a little tighter than I would like but that doesn’t mean I can’t find some frugal ways to celebrate the long summer days. Here are 8 low-cost or free plans I have for the summer:

1. Pool time- I’m not fortunate enough to live in a beach city but I do live in a condo development with a pool so I will definitely be taking full advantage of that paid perk. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a beach then I kind of hate you, just kidding, well, maybe I dislike you just a bit but even if you don’t live close to a beach or in a condo or apartment with a pool then I bet your town/city has at least one community pool that you can pay to visit and generally pool passes are fairly economical for a day’s fun.

2. Take a walk/hike-my city has numerous parks and trails that are free to visit. I’m also fortunate to live in a wonderful neighborhood that is very conducive for long walks. You can also bike if that’s more your preference. Parks are also a great place to meet up with friends to have a picnic or cookout or play Ultimate Frisbee or exercise.

3. Cancel your gym membership or put it on hold for the summer months if your facility allows that and use the great outdoors as your gym. You can walk or bike outside, swim, play tennis, join a recreational sports league, etc. It’s not uncommon to see exercise classes being held in our neighborhood park during the summer even.

4. Browse your local bookstore, either alone or take a friend, and enjoy a coffee and pastry at the store café. I love to go to my local Barnes & Noble and just wander the aisles looking for new books or spending time at a table in the café writing. Obviously to keep this economical you can’t buy a book every visit. I always ask for Barnes & Noble gift cards for Christmas/birthday gifts and then I treat myself to a hot tea or latte while I write or browse the store.

5. Movie Matinees-Tuesdays are discount days at our local theaters and generally the first showing of each movie every day is a discounted price. If you can control yourself by avoiding the overpriced concession stand then this is a economical way to catch the latest movie.

6. Netflix/Hulu marathons-Hopefully you’ve read my previous post and cut the expensive cable cord already but you can still catch your favorite shows and stars. Grab a buddy and have a marathon of your current or past favorite series. The best part is you can pause the show to grab some more snacks or a bathroom break and not have to worry about missing anything. Grace and Frankie and The Ranch are two of my favorite Netflix series. I also love Code Black, SWAT, and Blue Bloods and of course HGTV and the Hallmark channel also have shows I love. I know…I watch too much TV.

7. Curling up with a great book on a lazy afternoon is always a great way to pass a lazy afternoon as well. I currently have ten books out on loan from the library. I know, I know, I have a problem… I don’t mean to end up with so many books at once but I tend to hear about a new book and then I reserve it at my local library thinking it will be a while before I get it and then they all show up at once.

8. Hang out a friend’s fire pit late at night roasting marshmallows. Love, love, love this! Nothing better than the smell and sounds of a campfire at night. Throw in some burnt marshmallows and good friends and you’re set.

So there you go, I may not have the funds to jet off to the beach or take a cruise this summer but that doesn’t mean the next few months will be boring. I’m going to make an effort to get out of the office at a reasonable hour each day so I can take advantage of the beautiful weather. What frugal activities do you enjoy during the summer?

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