Schools out for the summer! (Now what?)
Along with these new holes in my schedule and free time, something else is a little empty lately in my life -- my wallet. If you're like me and you go away to college and work there, it is often difficult to find a job when you come back home that hires just for the summer.
Or you may be doing a summer internship, which is also a great idea, but often time is unpaid or pays very little.
As one who is living in Stratford on a budget this summer, but still wants to have fun I've come up with a little list of ways to make the most of your money and still have fun. (And please if you have any more suggestions, I'd love to hear them!)
- Make a budget for yourself. Decide how much money you are going to use that month and where it should go to ahead of time can prevent you from overspending.
- Track your spending. Write down everything you buy so you can keep a clear record of what you are using your money for and if you are using it too much in one place.
- Limit how often you eat out. Food is one thing that I find myself constantly spending money on. If you live at home, eating meals at home can be a great way to save money and also spend time with your family. If not, try cooking for yourself! A cart of groceries can be cheaper and last you longer than eating takeout every night.
- Go outside. Take advantage of the summer weather and have countless hours of fun during the long summer days. Go swimming, (if you don't have a pool, go to a friends!) Hit the beach, (pay one price for the whole summer!) Or get some friends together and play sports. Have fun at little to no cost!
- Hit Happy Hour. If you’re of age and want to go out to the bar, go during happy hour! Drinks are usually half price as well as cheap appetizers. Places like Acapulco's and McCoy's Pub right in Stratford usually have good deals.
- Rent a movie. Going to the movies can be a fun time, but the cost can add up quickly. Save money buy renting a movie at a Red Box or Netflix and make your own popcorn in the comfort of your own home.
- Find discounts at attractions. Research before you go. You can take mini day trips instead of one big expensive vacation. Places like the Bronx Zoo are not a far ride, and offers free admission every Wednesday, and theme parks like Lake Compounce and Six Flags are close to home and offer many discounts and coupons.
- Get caught up on your shows. If you missed out on your favorite show or wanted to start a new series but were too busy during the school year, the summer is a great time to get back on track. Sites online like Hulu offer free episodes or full series for a limited monthly cost.
- Ride a bike. Take up biking or walking. Gas prices are not going down anytime soon so biking and walking places can be a great alternative especially in the nice summer weather. It is also great for your heath and a good way to work on your fitness!
- Volunteer. Volunteering can be a great experience and a great way to spend your time and give back to the community. Doing something for others and making a difference can be even more rewarding than doing things for yourself.