Enjoying summer on the cheap

By on March 28, 2011

By Josh Williams

As temperatures rise, fully covered bodies become scarce, and a lack of attendance in class becomes common, it can only mean one thing: Summer is here. Although this sounds as dreamy and golden as the tan you have been working on all year, summer can have some downfalls. Some friends will be going away for a while, chances of bad weather are prevalent, and a sad, hollow sound emits from the depths of your wallet. While you cannot control the first two items on the list, you can control some of the financial issues you might run into over the summer.

I am not saying you should stay at home alone all summer. That would be boring and a one-way ticket to losing friends or a significant other. Instead, I propose for students to be a little thriftier when planning the numerous summer activities that await them. For example, carpooling is a great way for everyone to have a ride and it also lessens the cost of those scary gas prices. This method will save everyone money and is better for the environment.

Another method with which to stretch your dollar this summer would be to cut corners on things that have the potential to be expensive. A good example of this would be food. When driving around town, do not stop and pay to eat at fast food restaurants. Food there is not only more expensive, but it is also not very good for you, especially during bikini season. Instead, a cheaper and healthier method would be to buy nonexpensive groceries from the store and pack lunches for each occasion. A meal you might want to try is a tuna fish sandwich and chips. This provides multiple meals for about $5 a week. Compare this to a meal at Wendy’s or McDonald’s, which can run around $5 per meal. This method also applies when going to water parks, beaches, amusement parks and the like. The food at these places can be quite expensive. Instead, just pack a lunch that will be cheaper and healthier for everyone.

To get the most bang for your buck, you can also plan cheaper trips. This does not mean substituting a beach trip with your friends for a lonely splash session in your bathtub. Rather, when going to the beach, strive to find the best deals on everything. If you are taking a road trip to the beach, attempt to find the best deals on hotels, gas stops and food for the trip. A good way to do this is to have the mentality that you can always find a better deal. You may be surprised by how much money can be saved just by comparing prices.

With the summer season quickly approaching, students cannot wait to leave the responsibility of being a student behind. This summer, you don’t have to choose between having fun and being cheap – you can do both.

 

About Michael Kennedy

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