Friday, June 21, 2019

Summer Fun on a Budget: Splurge vs. Save

summer, money, money saving tips, saving, summer fun
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For those in the northern hemisphere, summer has arrived — and with it comes days of brilliant sunshine and bountiful fresh air. Are you protecting your skin? How about your budget?

We all know how easy it can be to overspend on summer fun. You’ve been sheltered inside for months, and now that all signs of snow have finally vanished, you’re ready for fun. Summer temptations are calling your name: beach vacations, trips to the pool, weekend getaways, outdoor concerts, new dining adventures.

This time of year brings nearly-endless ways to spend money—and yet, your funds aren’t endless. The good news is that financial stress doesn’t need to be a part of your solstice this year.

With just a little thought and some well-laid plans, it’s easier than ever to save money on all your essential summer experiences​.

SPLURGE: Invest in Good Sunscreen

A sunburn can quickly ruin even the best days. Make sure you shield your kids—and yourself— from sun damage with an​ ​effective sunscreen​ option. This is one area where cheaper isn’t always best. 

Whether you’re looking for an option that plays double-duty as a moisturizer and sun guard or a more natural sunscreen that doesn’t contain chemicals, there are a few constants to keep in mind.

1.​ Always look for the words “broad spectrum:” this means that your sunscreen will keep out the largest spectrum of harmful UVB and UVA rays.

2.​ Always, always stick to at least SPF 30, and don’t be afraid to take it up higher. The​ ​FDA is in talks​ to raise the label limit to SPF 60 (right now it’s at 50), but SPF 60 filters out twice as many rays as its half-aged cousin. Know your skin, and be prepared whenever you step outside.

SAVE: Summer Fun & Eating Out

Chances are good that your local community likes to live it up in the summertime as much as you and your family. In fact, many cities host regular free events like street festivals and outdoor live music to get you outside and socializing.
Even if every event isn’t free, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to​ ​score great deals​ on your favorite local activities this summer. Check nearby water parks and pools for promotional deals or discounted admission prices before you go, especially if you’re bringing the whole family. Or, if eating out is more your style, you can look for dining coupons or new summer happy hours at your favorite places. Everyone’s schedule is a little different in the summer, and some restaurants offer special deals to bring in more customers during less-busy hours.

SPLURGE ​AND ​ SAVE Vacation on the Brain 

When it comes to summer vacations, turns out you CAN have your cake and eat it, too.

Going somewhere exotic? Flights, hotels and rental cars can get expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t​ ​save a few dollars​ on your travel. Many airlines run summer specials, and if you avoid flying on Friday (the most expensive day of the week for flights), you can keep costs a little lower.

Check your hotel, too. Some hotels offer a free night if you book 3 or more nights. For an even more affordable trip, try sites like​ ​Airbnb​ or​ ​VRBO​. Summer trips can be some of the most memorable experiences, but your bank account doesn’t have to suffer.

And if traveling isn’t in the cards for you this year, try a staycation! Sometimes, it can be just as fun to stay home, take a few days off, and try some new things in your local area. After all: summer fun happens wherever you make it happen.
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