“Now learn this lesion from the fig tree:  As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” – Matthew 24:32

June 21, 2013 – Today marks the beginning of the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.  Yes, you’re reading it right; it’s officially summertime and literally, the heat is on! (Just coincided with the Miami HEAT’s breathtaking victory, peace Spurs! – a disclaimer).  This is one of the busiest times for everyone to enjoy the occasion inside or outside the country.  Children are off school for over a couple of months, which according to them is the time that boredom kicks in if they don’t get dynamically active.  So, parents are busy finding ways to make their vacation time functionally memorable and lively.  There are lots of things to do, but what makes these sometimes quite not possible from happening?  Number one reason – the cost!

I am a firm believer that it’s not the fancy vacation destination or the type of activities that is important, but the quality time spent together as a family.  I have practical tips to suggest on how to save money this summer while enjoying it, as follows:

  1. Enjoy the heat.  Since it takes several months before the arrival of the most-awaited shining sun, take advantage of the warm, lovely, bright days.  Go out and explore.  The sun is FREE!
  2. Plant.  Planting different types such as ornaments, vegetables, herbs, etc., is so perfect.  Grow your own plants to save and benefit from the joy of harvesting the fruits of your own labor later on.
  3. Enjoy watching movies at home.  Watching together at the very comforts of your homes is very wholesome.  This saves you a lot of time, money, and effort.
  4. Do-It-Yourself summer treats.  It is more enjoyable to do your own fruit shakes, smoothies, ice cream, and some frozen delights for the whole family.  Cost-effective, enjoyable, and flavorful.
  5. Stay away from the malls.  Shopping malls are so inviting because of the cozy temperature and the different stores with so many items on sale.  Going to these places will not spare you from spending.
  6. Garage sale.  Summertime is the perfect moment for garage sales.  You can either save or earn; save, by shopping at garage sales around the village and earn, by hosting your own garage sale.  Everyone is out there haunting for great items.
  7. Enroll kids in the community center.  Every town has community centers with different activities available for the constituents at a very affordable cost and sometimes free.  Swimming, dance, and musical instrument lessons are the basic examples.
  8. Summer camps.  Plan ahead of time for summer camps for the whole family.  There are nice summer camp sites at minimal costs and again, sometimes free.
  9. Enjoy the park.  There are lots of parks around.  These are open to everyone for the whole family and community to enjoy.  There is no cost to use the parks.  Bring your own food and drinks to save.
  10. Beautiful Park
  11. Discounted theme parks.  Because of the varying seasons, theme parks only open for a very limited time, specifically in the summer.  Secure discounted tickets and freebies around.
  12. Explore history.  Local and national museums normally are open to the public, free of charge.  Zoos and other amusement places also offer minimal fees during the summer.  Join the multicultural festivals around the area.  These are normally free too.
  13. Go to the library.  This gives the children a very excellent way to spend time while off school to learn new things free of charge.
  14. Go fishing.  This is one of the most refreshing activities in the summertime.  This gives you the enticing fresh air away from the smokes in the city.  Very relaxing.
  15. Split vacation expenses.  It is more cost-effective to enjoy vacation out of town with friends and relatives, especially if expenses are split among members.  Not only had you enjoyed the vacation shared with people you love, but spent less money because of equal disbursements.
  16. Volunteer work.  There are several community and church volunteering tasks that need help.  This is one of the most morally and spiritually rewarding deeds one could give to the needy.

Enjoying life with family and friends is not limited by the season of the year.  Every day is an opportunity to live a meaningful life, full of love and memories.  Live your today as if it is your last day.



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