Teach Kids to Save this Summer

Teach Kids to Save this SummerAlthough the lazy days of summer seem far away, it’s not too early to make plans that will help you save some money this summer – and teach your kids about saving money. Many parents remark that summer is a drain on their finances with kids at home.

Extra food, extra entertainment, and extra trips all involve extra money. Here are a few tips to avoid a big hole in your wallet this summer:

  • Plan Ahead: Whether you are planning an outing to a local amusement park or a family vacation, emphasize the value of saving. Set a family savings goal that involves your children. Determine the cost, and discuss ways everyone can help to reach the goal – before summer starts.
  • Snack Up:
    Snack foods take a toll on your wallet. Bottled water, sports drinks, and fast food are easy to grab — but add up in a hurry!  Enlist your kids to fill water bottles at home before the game. Pack a bag of snacks purchased at the supermarket. Make a conscious effort to add items to your grocery list, rather than convenience stores, concession stands, and fast-food outlets.
  • Make Some Low or No-Cost Fun:
    Visit your local library for summer reading programs, books, and DVDs. Some libraries participate in e-Reader services, too. Others offer puppets, novel baking pans and games to patrons for check-out. Check your local library before summer starts to find out how you can try something new without the expense.

    Create your own home-theater on a rainy day for kids using a DVD from the library. Pop your own popcorn. Have the kids create movie tickets for the event for some extra low-cost fun!

    Sell or trade used electronic games with a friend or neighbor.

    Local parks, museums, and attractions offer free or low-cost entertainment and educational opportunities. Explore what’s in your town, or your neighboring community.

  • Get Back to Nature:
    Visit the nature centers in Kossuth and Palo Alto counties for some outdoor education. Visit a new park, or take in a local attraction that travelers frequent, but you may never have visited.
  • Get Crafty:
    Got a summer birthday? Father’s Day? Independence Day? Have your kids create a greeting card and then actually send it. There are lots of craft stores that offer fun and creative products, or look around the house for items to recycle or re-use. Recycling used greeting cards, comic strips, and packaging items such as packing peanuts stretches your child’s mind – and your entertainment dollar.