20 FUN Things to Do for Under $20


“Summertime … the living’s easy…”

Are you ready to have some serious fun this summer and save money at the same time? It’s totally doable! Part of the Wallet Wellness Challenge is learning how to fatten up your wallet without giving up life’s essentials. And one of life’s most fundamental “must-haves” — especially if you’re trying to entertain kids or let loose this summer — is to HAVE FUN!

Learn what’s available to you and do a tiny bit of thinking ahead. There are tons of deals all around you and you probably aren’t even aware of some of them. Here are 20 fun and fabulous ways to save money this summer and still have a blast:

  1. Make your own snacks. Whether you buy in bulk and divvy your goods up into snack bags or make your own tasty treats, you can save some serious cheddar when you skip the concession stands and pack your own.
  2. Coordinate a block party. Get the neighbors together and plan a potluck. People can bring a dish and sharable toy (Frisbee, badminton, whiffle ball and bat, etc.). The kids will have fun playing together and everyone can enjoy the feast!
  3. Have a movie marathon. This is especially fun on rainy days. Grab a couple of movies, throw on your PJs, pop some corn and relax.
  4. Go to the park. There are parks all around and … they’re FREE! It’s a great way to get some exercise (wear out the kids!), get some fresh air and play!
  5. Check out your local library. Not only do they typically host summer reading events, but you can check out books … for free! Cheap entertainment and the boosting of brain power? Double score!
  6. Get festive! Most cities and towns host all sorts of festivals during the summer. Whether you enjoy arts and crafts or want to try some new eats, check your local paper or news/entertainment sites for activities near you.
  7. Kids eat free. You’d be surprised how many restaurants offer free meals or deals for kids during the week. This is a great way to “treat” your family to a nice meal for less!
  8. Water follies. Is there a community pool in your area? Rates are usually only a couple of bucks per person and you can make a day of it. Don’t forget your sunscreen and snacks!
  9. Backyard waterpark. If you don’t have a community pool near you, consider creating a mini “waterpark” in your back yard! All you need is a water hose and a sprinkler for hours of fun.
  10. Host a kids clothes swap. Mentally adding up the cost of new school clothes and cringing? Host a kids clothes swap with other parents and get gently used clothes for the new year. It’s a great way to update your kids’ wardrobe and be kind to your wallet, too!
  11. Field day, anyone? A fun way to entertain the kids this summer is to have a field day. Whether it’s in your backyard or a local park, you can grab a few items from your local dollar store (bubbles, water balloons, kites) and make a day of it!
  12. Community service. It’s never too early to teach kids the joy of giving back or doing something for others. Whether you visit seniors in a nursing home or pick up litter at a school or community center, it’s a great way to spend your time.
  13. Have a game night. Everyone has games in their house (or ones that you can borrow from a friend). Gather your group together and have a mini-marathon. Electronic team games or board games are terrific ways to spend time together without costing a dime.
  14. Get technical. There are tons of smartphone apps and websites that offer all kinds of deals and discounts. From spa days to entertainment to store coupons, there’s something for everyone!
  15. Buy produce in season. One of the greatest things about summer is all of the plentiful fruits and veggies at farmer’s markets and store. Buying in season is cheaper and can help you cut your grocery bill.
  16. Stay hydrated. We’re lucky to live in a place where water is very accessible. Buy a water container and carry your own water with you instead of buying drinks on the go.
  17. Watch a movie for less. Did you know that some movie theaters offer free movies for kids over the summer? Check your local establishments to see what kinds of deals are offered. Or, if your area has one, go to the drive-in! You pay by the carload, not per person.
  18. Score a sibling discount. Are your kids going to camp or daycare? See if there’s a sibling discount available to save some cash.
  19. Go local. Check your local college or university events calendar to see if they offer any cheap (or free!) concerts or exhibits.
  20. Get creative! Can that cardboard box be turned into a spaceship? Can those odds and ends in the junk drawer become a new folk art piece? Check out Pinterest for ideas on how you can create your own fun!

These are just a handful of the fun (and practically free!) things you can do this summer to help you spend less and save more this summer. Make sure you check back in over the summer for even more amazing Wallet Wellness tips and tricks!


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