Some Americans are starting to feel a sense of returned normalcy. In many cities, offices are re-opening, restaurants are offering indoor dining and concert lineups are being announced.
But even if you’re excited, it can be really easy to feel overwhelmed about spending money. Suddenly, there are a lot more choices than there were a year ago, from going out to dinner to going on vacation. Luckily, we have 13 easy ways that you can save money and still have fun!
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Make a summer bucket list
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First things first, it’s important to figure out what you want to do and what you’re comfortable doing this summer. If you prefer to wear a mask and stay socially distanced, you can stick to outdoor activities. If you’re fully vaccinated and feel comfortable engaging in indoor activities, you can eat inside your favorite restaurant, go to the movies or safely attend your friend’s wedding. It’s all about what you want to do!
Once you have a better idea of what you want to do, creating a list will help you prioritize your spending. Here are some fun things to add to your summer bucket list:
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1. Visit family
It’s been a long time since many of us have seen extended family members. Make “Hugging Grandma” the #1 item on your bucket list.
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2. Host a party
We missed out on so many celebrations in 2020. If you’re comfortable, have family and friends over to celebrate a birthday, graduation or even Christmas in July!
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3. Go on vacation
The options are endless. Whether you’re traveling to Chicago or NYC, Nashville or Charleston, you deserve to go on a long, relaxing vacation this summer.
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4. Plan a beach day
Beach days are the perfect summer bucket list items. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
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5. Go to a baseball game
Raise your hand if you missed going to sporting events last summer. Get tickets to see your favorite player hit a homerun in real life.
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6. Attend a friend’s wedding
Weddings are back, and couples are finally getting to celebrate their big day. If you’re ok with it, you can attend a friend or family member’s wedding this summer.
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7. Go see a movie
Buttery popcorn and strong air conditioning make going to the movies one of the best summer activities. Check to see if your local theater has re-opened.
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8. Get concert tickets
You can also check smaller, local venues to see if any artists will be playing near you.
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9. Go to a museum
Walking around a museum is a great way to spend a summer day, especially if you’re looking for something the entire family will enjoy.
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10. Get a new wardrobe for less
One minute you’re wearing the same sweatpants for a week straight, and the next thing you know you’re making plans to go to dinner!
If you feel like you don’t have anything to wear this summer, you can get a new wardrobe without going over budget. Many retailers are offering sales in preparation for summer, including ASOS, Gap, H&M, LOFT and Nordstrom. Currently, LOFT is advertising summer tops for $30 and pants and jeans starting at $40.
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11. Figure out a restaurant budget
- If you’re a foodie, the re-opening of restaurants is a big deal! Unfortunately, eating out costs money, but it doesn’t have to eat up your bank account. Instead of mindlessly spending money on food, you can put a restaurant budget in place. Here are the things to think about when you’re dreaming about dinner:
- When? First, think about when you want to go out to eat and how many times a week you’re comfortable spending money. Saturday date night is a great time to splurge on food!
- Where? Is there a restaurant you’ve been dying to try? Are you excited to go back to your favorite burger place? Make a list of must-visit restaurants so that you can prioritize your spending.
- How much? If you really want to make sure you’re not spending too much money, set up a budget. When you put money aside every week, you won’t have to feel guilty about eating out.
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12. Take advantage of free activities
Free activities are one of the best ways to enjoy the summer without spending any money. There are a ton of pastimes that are completely free, such as going to the beach or spending the day at the park.
Additionally, you can look up free activities near you. So many cities offer free museum days, free attractions and free concerts. Tripster has a whole list of free things to do in New York City, including free museums and events. You can visit Tripster to look up a similar list for your city!
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13. Plan a budget-friendly vacation
After more than a year of being cooped up in the house, it may be time to take a vacation. Whether you prefer to fly, drive or plan a staycation, we have a ton of travel deals featuring low-priced hotel rooms, airfare, car rentals and vacation packages.
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