Summer Fun on a Shoe String


Guest Blogger: Nicoll Laikola, College Senior

School’s out and summer is here, but is it possible to have fun without a lot of money?  Fortunately, summer is all about enjoying the sunshine, and most outdoor activities are free!  Whether you’re into music, exercise, or relaxing, there is a cost-effective activity for you.

Many cities host free events during summer months.  Local newspapers will have information on free concerts or county fairs and festivals.  Depending on where you live, hiking or a day-trip to the beach can also be fun.

Sometimes as locals, we forget about all the things our state has to offer.  Free museums, state parks, or places for sight-seeing are too easily overlooked.  Going to a tourist booth or doing a Google search of activities in your area can yield great results for activities that you may not have done in years.

The pool is often a fun place to spend summer days.  Communities sometimes have a pool that they offer free or cheap admission to for residents.  For those who enjoy swimming, giving swim lessons or working as a lifeguard are great ways to pass the time and earn some extra money.

Volunteering somewhere that interests you is fun and rewarding.  Talk to your local recreation center about coaching a children’s sports team.  You could also volunteer at a hospital or a shelter if you love animals.  You will feel good for doing it, and volunteering is a good way to build your resume.

Garage sales are one of summer’s most famous events.  Some of the most interesting treasures have been known to be found at them.  Among common finds are furniture, record players, and lava lamps.  Garage sales can be a good resource for decorating your apartment in an inexpensive way.

For more ideas, talk to your friends or older people you have met in college, as they certainly have experience treating summer boredom.


Guest Blogger Kaitlin Phelin, High School Senior

Summer is finally here after a year that was most likely long, stressful, and hard.  Most students begin counting down towards summer the day it ends.  Unfortunately, most parents begin setting “money limits” when their student starts high school.  This either means getting a summer job and making minimum wage, or making the money your parents give you last.  Either way, you are probably going to be on a tight budget.  Everything seems to cost money, and prices seem to be going up rapidly on everything from movies to theme parks.  On the other hand, there are a lot of wonderful things to do in the summer that are extremely cheap or even free.

Maybe you need a new summer wardrobe? Clean out your closet and take all the clothes you don’t want any more to a consignment shop, where you can exchange them for either cash or new clothes that are right there in the store.  Look up some of the more popular consignment stores like “Buffalo Exchange” or “Plato’s Closet” and see if there is one nearby.

Many times, friends will go to coffee or go get ice cream when they hang out.  Most activities involve food in one way or another.  Getting coffee can seem cheap enough, but it adds up!  If you like getting food with your friends, try making your own. Shows about baking on TLC or The Food Network are on all the time, so if you don’t know how to bake, learning shouldn’t be a problem.  Making cupcakes or cookies with friends can be easy, fun, tasty, and really cheap. Try something besides a vanilla, such as a rocky road flavored cupcake or even a red velvet cake.  Have decorating contests with your friends and let yourself be creative.  It is likely that you already own most of the necessary ingredients to bake, meaning you may not even have to buy anything at all.

A big part of why summer is so great is that the weather is perfect.  So don’t spend it all inside.  Set up a volleyball net at a local park so you and your friends can play. Have a picnic while you’re at it.

Search for public pools, which are often free or cost a very small amount.  Go to the local Farmer’s Market to find inexpensive, but quality samples of food from various restaurants. Find out about outdoor movie nights or free concerts showing in your town.  Summertime is when businesses promote themselves to students by giving really great discounts or hosting free events.  Watch for these, because with a good group of friends these can be really enjoyable.

Don’t let the lack of cash let your summer become boring, because there is so much out there to do that won’t make a dent in your wallet.  Get your friends in on these activities, and your summer is sure to be a blast.

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