Summer is filled with camping trips, fairs, outdoor festivals, and days spent at the beach. Unfortunately, all that fun adds up quickly. We want you to make the most of the season while also reaching your financial goals, so we’ve gathered some financial tools and budget-friendly activities to help.
Firstly, set your Summer Spending Budget. It’s a lot easier to say “yes” to an outing or an event, when you know how much you can afford. Start building your budget by logging into your Digital Banking app to review your account balance. Be sure to connect your external accounts, such as your 401k, credit card, investments, and loans, to get a full picture of your spending habits.
And, while we know summer isn’t the season for getting stuck behind a screen, it’s also a good idea to periodically check your financial progress with FutureLook. When you opt one of your DCU Checking accounts into this Digital Banking feature it will use your past spending habits and income within that account to forecast your future savings.
Finally, we’ve put together a list of low-cost or free activities that you can enjoy throughout the summer so you can save money and still make memories.
Plant a garden
If you have a sunny patch of lawn, or even empty containers, you can grow your own food. Or plant annual flowers to enjoy the brightly colored blooms. Seeds are inexpensive and starter — or bedding plants — cost just a bit more. If you have children, this is a good activity to do together and to teach them about sustainability, ecology, and weather.
Host a backyard fire with close friends or family
Consider adding a hand-built or pre-made firepit to your backyard for roasting those homegrown veggies from your garden or toasting up some marshmallows. Firepits are an excellent investment for summer entertaining that you can enjoy for years to come.
Lead a walking tour
Research interesting historical and cultural sites in your area. Then, invite family, friends, or fellow history buffs to join you as you lead a walking tour. Who knows, you might even make some tips!
Travel close to home
If you normally take a road trip or vacation, consider travelling closer to home. Discover the treasures that your region offers by visiting your state’s tourism website. Whether you’re interested in exploring the arts, the great outdoors, or historical sites, you can likely find a fun family activity in your own area.
There’s no shortage of opportunities to help your community from delivering meals locally to providing professional support or mentoring a child online. Check out Volunteer Match for open positions. Volunteering can also be a way to experience an event for free.
Find odd jobs in the neighborhood
Walking dogs, planting flowers, and lawn work can be fun. Plus, you can earn some extra cash to add to your savings. Spend a moment to write down your different skills and interests to see if they could be used to get outside and make extra income this season.
Shop the farmers market
Enjoy fresh produce in an open-air market while supporting your local farmers. Having a friend join you is a chance to spend some time catching up while also getting your grocery shopping done for the week.
Try a new fitness hobby
Summer is an ideal time to mix up your fitness routine and try something new: if you like to run, try trail running; if you are a walker, try inline skating. This is another opportunity to get an item of your “to-do” list done while spending time with a friend or family member.
Remember, summer is all about slowing down and enjoying life – and that is always free. If you’re looking for more free or low-cost fun ideas, check out these summer activities for kids.
Please note, membership is required to open a DCU Checking Account. Visit our membership eligibility page for more information.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as legal, financial, investment or tax advice or indicate that a specific DCU product or service is right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a financial professional.