Long days, warm evenings, vacations and no school are a few of the reasons why many people consider summer their favorite season. While the summer months can bring lots of fun, it can also be disheartening when you’re still paying for it long after it’s over. By sticking to a budget, taking advantage of discounts and seeking free or low-cost opportunities, you can have a fun summer with just good memories when it’s over.
Save and budget.
Regardless of the season, you should always have a budget, but summer months may require an adjustment to your budget – especially if you’re planning out of the norm costs like vacations. If there’s a month that you’re planning to spend more in an area that you normally do, you may need to cut costs in other areas. Taking your lunch to work versus buying and making coffee at home instead of buying at a coffee shop may save you $100-$200 for the month.
Having money set aside in a savings account specifically for your vacation or other event is also a good way to help ensure that you’ll have the money you intend to have when the time comes. An AHFCU Vacation Savings Account can help you with this.
Take advantage of discounts.
You can easily save money by using resources that provide discounts. Here are a few of our favorites:
- AHFCU Member Discounts– we’ve partnered with Love My Credit Union and Recreation Connection to provide you with discounts on entertainment, travel and retailers.
- Dollar Stores– there should be no shame at heading over to a dollar store to buy products that would normally cost you much more elsewhere. For example, most greeting cards cost at least $5.00. But, greeting cards at a dollar store will cost $1.00 or less.
- Use money-saving apps– Mobile apps with coupon codes can provide instant savings. A few to try are RetailMeNot, SnipSnap and Yipit.
Low rates and rewards.
If you decide to use a credit card or a loan, make sure that you use one that provides low rates and if possible, rewards. For an example, with AHFCU’s Healthy Rewards Mastercard®, you get rewarded with points for the purchases that you make. Your saved reward points can be redeemed for travel and merchandise. An AHFCU personal loan provides low rates and favorable terms for manageable monthly payments that you can pay off quickly.
Free and low-cost opportunities.
There are plenty of free and low-cost things to do near where many of us live. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Go on a hike– There are so many places to hike for nearly every skill and preference. One of our favorite hikes in the Long Beach area is Ocean Trails.
- Explore with the Metrolink during a weekend– You can anywhere on weekends for only $10 with the Weekend Day Pass. This can save you money and hassle by not needing to worry about gas and parking. The Metrolink can be a fun way for families to experience places such as Chinatown, Olvera Street and Hollywood Boulevard.
- Go to the park– Parks aren’t just for kids. Adults, too, can enjoy several of the great parks that are in our area. Pack a picnic and spend a day relaxing and exploring in parks such as El Dorado Nature Center, ShoreLine Aquatic Park and Los Alamos Park.