It’s no secret that my family lives on a pretty strict budget. We are young, still getting established, and just working through these years of living on little! When it comes to summer, I’ve got a few helpful tips on how to have just as much fun as everyone else, while still pinching all the pennies!
Cash Envelope System
The first thing that I have found to be super important in keeping the budget through the fun summer months is using the cash envelope system. We use the envelope system to budget year-round, but as the summer began I decided to have an entirely different set of envelopes the keep us in check.
The way it works is this:
- Decide what things you want to budget to do and withdraw the exact amount of cash you’re budgeting and place in the corresponding envelope.
- When that cash is gone, you’re done with that activity for the month or that pay period (you can fill your envelopes per month or per paycheck, whatever works best for you family). For example: My summer envelopes are Admissions (getting into fun play places/waterparks), Eating Out (for those days when we just want to have a lunch date at Chick-Fil-A with friends) and Indoor Activities (to pay for games/arts & crafts that we want to do when it’s just too hot to venture outside). I put a certain amount of money into each of these envelopes each time we get paid.
- Then for those two weeks, if we use up the money, we don’t do that thing again until the next paycheck!
A huge money saver for us is packing our lunch! We pack a lunch when we go to the pool or the park or the splash pad… and it keeps us from feeling like we have to run by and grab fast food afterward because we’re so hungry! Kids love picnics, right?!
Buy in Bulk
Get the things that you need for pool days, picnics at the park, etc. in BULK! Buy sunscreen and pool toys and a great picnic basket… at Costco or Sam’s! You’ll need it to last through the summer (which basically lasts until September in Texas) so why not buy it in bulk and save?
Find ways to help the kiddos have fun and enjoy their summer without even having to spend a dime! Whether it means helping them make a fort or letting them enjoy a movie at home, doing arts & crafts or even just playing in the sprinkler in the backyard, there are so many ways to have so much summer fun when you’re trying to live on a tight budget.