Summer Entertainment that Won’t Break the Bank

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shutterstock_99555074Summertime and the livin’s easy… Every time I hear this line of Sublime’s summer anthem, I smile to myself. Each year, summer is a breath of fresh air (especially for those of us who live in the North and have endured long, brutal winters!). With summer upon us, it’s time for beach days, flip flops, and long days that stretch into the fire fly-laden night. And with proper planning, summer can also be an excellent time for saving money while taking in the plethora of activity and entertainment that abounds.

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Free Things to Do in the Summer

Entertainment expenses can take a huge bite out of your budget, and they can rack up quite easily in the carefree days of summer. Rather than spend your way into oblivion while having a good time outdoors, consider the following list of free things that can accomplish your goal of relaxing and connecting with others while not draining your bank account:

  • Concerts – With a quick search, you can finds hundreds of free options for music and most of these are free during the summer months.
  • Movies – Movies in the park are a summer pastime that most all cities employ. Check out your local community calendar for a list of flicks that will be playing, pop some popcorn, and relax on a blanket under the stars while enjoying one of your favorite movies.
  • Markets – While you might end up spending some money if you’re not able to resist an impulse purchase, most markets in the summer are an absolute joy to visit. Just walk through the stalls and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the fresh produce, artisan wares, or interesting artwork. It’s window shopping done summer-style!
  • Volunteer – Why not spread some good cheer and earn some karma points? Find a local charity in need of help and donate a few hours a week.

Cheap Things to Do in the Summer

Not everything will be free, but there are definite ways to make things cheaper. Here are some ideas for inexpensive ways to spend your favorite pastimes in a way that won’t necessitate racking up debt on your credit cards:

  • Minor League Games – If you’re a baseball fan, there’s no need to shell out for pricey MLB tickets when you can easily take in a great game for a fraction of the price by attending minor league games.
  • Amusement Parks – You can save big through promotions printed on soda cans and in local newspapers. Most of these include buy-one, get-one or free tickets for children under a certain age.

How do you save money on entertainment in the summer?

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Jen is the owner of The Happy Homeowner, where she writes about living a healthy, balanced life one cent at a time. Previously, she paid off $14K in credit card debt in less than a year and hasn’t looked back since. Follow along on Twitter with her financial, fitness and travel adventures @bthhomeowner!