By : Amy Hannold, 247Moms.com Frugal Living Editor
Begin Your “Summer Fund and Finds Now”:
April comes before all that we look forward to this spring and summer, and serves as valuable advance notice of upcoming holidays. Research, planning and saving now will save you a ton of accrued debt and last-minute spending later.
Holidays are any day that causes us to spend outside of our daily or monthly plans. Think picnics, day trips, summer camps, extra child care, vacations, etc. Dust off that pickle jar and throw your change in it daily. Encourage your children to give up a few treats here and there. Visibly place that money in your “Summer Fun Fund”, witnessing to them about delayed gratification and saving for “a sunny day”.
Begin your research now. As a family, make a list of where you want to visit this summer. Find out about special events, discounts, and group rates. Plan some neighborhood day trips to share expenses. Join mailing lists of attractions and destinations so that you’re well aware of what’s going on – and when it the best time to visit.
Summer Camps and Day Care: summer camps and day care fill up fast. Many have early registration discounts, “Bring a Buddy” promotions, and scholarships available — all first come, first served. Get in on these opportunities now!
Sports and Outdoor Equipment: Start your hunt at home for the things that make summer fun. Inventory what you ha ve, make necessary repairs, and create a list of what you need. Scour Craigslist.org, Ebay.com, garage sales, sports consignment stores, and other discount places. Get ahead of the inevitable rush on summer gear. When you know what you need, and take the time to find the best buy, you’ll find the goods, at great prices.
“Sunny Day” Supplies: As you’re shopping, searching and cleaning your own closets, build a “Sunny Day” supply box. Purchase a few novelties and activities that will save the day when the kids begin the “I’m Bored’s”. Find a few new ideas on line or in activity/crafts books. Acquire the materials now and you’ll be best prepared to entertain this summer.