Summer is here, and military families all around the country are preparing for a busy season of BBQ’s, kid’s activities and traveling. This can surely leave our wallet looking slim, and for many families, we don’t want to take too much summer activities away because of our budgets. So before you start scheduling all those fun family events, take time to explore some must-do summer budget tips!
Plan your Budget, and Stick to it!
- Do you tend to go over board with the amount of times you visited the local frozen yogurt shop last summer, leaving little room for extra travel money? Each week we place $20 in an envelope and know that this money is what we use for summer treats. We go local, and spend less. We budget $3 per person and have enough to buy ice cream 3 times a week. Not bad.
- While on the topic of summer treats, one expense that can get very large without even realizing it is food. When traveling, you should have a budget in mind of what you need to spend per person,/per day on food. One of our favorite money saving tips while still on the road is stopping at a TravelCenters of America. We have in mind what time we will stop, and this gets rids of those annoying gas station stops where all the food and snacks are insanely priced. There are also two sit down restaurants to choose from, so that is always a win with the kids – and a great bonus is that TravelCenters of America supports our military. From June 28 to August 5, participating Country Pride and Iron Skillet locations will donate $1.00 to the National Military Family Association , for each entree ordered from a select group of menu items. And if your on the road this July 4th, active and retired service members will receive a free meal from a menu of signature favorites.
- If your booking a room for travel, make sure your hotel serves continental breakfast so it is one less meal to pay for each day. If the hotel doesn’t serve breakfast, find a local grocery store or bakery and stock up breakfast essentials instead of going out each morning.
- Don’t ever book a room or visit a new place without searching online for deals. You may find that some deals are for specific dates, it’s not always flexible, so just be sure to read the fine print before booking anything. Last year we saved $100 by booking online with a coupon.
- The military life offers a unique opportunity to visit different locations, either using a discount or free for many. So make sure to check online before you go anywhere, to find affordable and fun activities for you and your family.
- Don’t be afraid to do a half-day’s worth of driving and stay a night or two in a hotel. Last minute hotel reservations are always more affordable, since the room is there anyway and they want to sell it to someone. Just getting your family out of their regular element of being at home can make a stay-cation feel like a real vacation.
A vacation is meant to be something that is enjoyable for your family. It is meant to be something that takes your mind off your daily life and helps to make memories with those you love. It doesn’t have to be a big and extravagant- just do whatever it is that makes you and yours memories to last a lifetime.