By Yves Leblanc
Summer time can get very expensive for those with young kids as they need to be kept busy and entertained. Here are a few ideas that may save you a couple dollars on activities:
Camping anyone? Instead of traveling and staying in hotels on vacation, consider borrowing or renting a tent and camping instead, the rental of a lot is usually much cheaper than a hotel or motel.
Buy Local. Look at activities offered by your local city or town, most have activities for children of all ages including summer day camps which keep kids doing physical or educational activities.
Explore. Look into parks and trails in your area, most municipality owned trail and parks set up low cost activities for young children. This also has an added benefit of being good for them.
Save money. For those wanting to get their child a bike without blowing the budget, check out large bike shops as some offer refurbished bikes that are in good running order at a fraction of the cost of new ones. Local classifieds often have bikes for sale. For kids that play sports, second hand sports stores and organizations sell used but well maintained sporting equipment and footwear for fast growing youngsters.
Remember. Groups like the YMCA, Boys and Girls clubs and other community organizations offer programs and activities that can be subsidized for low income families and/or for families with multiple children so that kids can still participate at a reduced cost. It is always worth checking out what programs are in your community and if you are eligible for cost savings.
Budgeting tips to make the most of your summer
* Plan your travel and activities in advance
* Budget (http://solveyourdebts.wpengine.com/en/pdfs/8_weeks_at_a_time.pdf) according to your plans
* Economize your travel (car pool, cost sharing)
* Save money in advance
* Limit your use of credit (http://solveyourdebts.wpengine.com/english/calculator_debt_amount)
* Pay for things in advance (i.e. hotel, car rental, amusement park passes)
* Have fun!