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Family Money

Isn’t it amazing how much more money we spend during the warmer months? With the kids out of school, money flies out of my wallet. We grab cool afternoon treats more often or eat a meal out al fresco.

If you feel urge to splurge this summer, here are some ideas to help you hold on to your cash.

BUDGET

We budget for two big summer vacations since we usually have to pay for our lodging well before putting our feet in the sand. It is also important to remember to save money for gas, food and entertainment. Bonus points if you pay for these expenses with cash so you don’t go over budget.

STAY WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

We tend to drive when we go on longer vacations. This gives us our car mobility, and we break up the trip by visiting friends and family along the route. We bring Virginia wines and beers and our homemade salsa as hostess gifts, and we get a free place to stay and more time with friends and family.

PLAN AHEAD

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids seem to be a bottomless pit of hunger when they travel. Whether you are going out for the day or on a longer road trip, pack a picnic lunch, snacks and drinks. Take time to shop before you leave to avoid time wasted waiting for fast food orders and/or convenience store pricing. This has probably saved us hundreds of dollars over the years.

SEASON PASSES & COUPONS

No matter if you are getting away or staying put, check the benefits of season passes to places you may frequent more than two to three times. Lots of places offer punch cards that allow you to visit at a discounted rate. Also remember to take your coupons; there is nothing worse than wanting a special treat and realizing you have a coupon on the refrigerator!

Stay cool in the summer. Don’t let extra expenses like fancy entertaining and feeding the kids on the road slow you down. With planning, you—like me—can avoid the summer splurge.

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