Ahhh summer break. I can remember how fun they were as a kid! As an adult, I’m more aware of how much planning goes into these breaks. You may spend additional time making preparations in advance, but you can save money if you follow these tips.
The Kansas City Zoo, Prairie Fire Museum, Deanna Rose and Union Station are all great examples of local memberships that can pay off over the summer if you visit multiple times. Even if you are not a work-at-home parent, you can still take advantage of them over long weekends and during vacation days. If you use a childcare provider, consider giving them membership passes for daytime activities or request a membership for birthday or holiday gifts. Sometimes restaurants also offer admission discounts on their kid’s menu for various spots like Lego Land or the Aquarium around Kansas City, so keep an eye out.
Speaking of childcare, it can be hard to find a solution that meets your summer needs and suits your budget. If your child attended a daycare before starting school, see if they offer a summer camp for school-aged kids. I do this with my kids and they love it because they know a lot of the teachers and get to take special field trips, so it’s well worth the cost for our family. We simply tuck these funds into our annual budget before summer hits.
If you are looking for a nanny, I’ve heard other parents suggest reaching out to a teacher who may be interested in earning extra income over the summer. Not only are they qualified educators, but they may be willing to work with your child on academic goals over the summer months.
While camps can be pretty spendy, I do have some tips up my sleeve for spotting discounts. Some offer early-bird discounts during enrollment if you sign up by a certain date. In fact, I just saw one for 15 percent off! Others may provide a discount for signing up more than one participant. You can check various parks and rec summer camp guides or parent magazines for discount codes.
Compare your costs, too. A neighboring city may offer a comparable but less expensive camp or class option that’s only a short drive away.
Make the most of evenings
I love that in the summer it stays light out for longer, creating the perfect opportunity to spend family time together. In the evening sun, you’ll find us by the pool in the backyard or relaxing in the driveway while the kids play cul-de-sac hockey. Don’t underestimate the simple joy of a warm summer evening at home!
If you are wondering how your family will afford the summer season, you are not alone. These tips should help you plan out your summer break on the cheap.
Kat’s Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, visit http://communityamerica.com.