3 Ways to Have Fun Despite Being Cash Strapped

Okay, it is summer time!

And if you are like me, you are looking to do “the most” this summer!  While it is important to stay within our budget, there are still ways to have fun. Whether you are strapped for cash or have a few dollars to spare, here are a few ways to enjoy the summer breeze and still keep your dollars in check!

1. Create a staycation.

two girls seeing the sights around columbus

Often, we travel to experience a “getaway” feeling, however it is possible to have a great time in your own city.  If you haven’t heard of the term before, it is quite simple.  A staycation is a way to not only save money, but it allows you to vacay right in your hometown. Packing up the family could be a little pricey, but a staycation is a great way to reduce the costs that usually comes with a traditional vacation.

A great way to start is to create an itinerary with a few places you have yet to visit in your hometown.  This may include spending a few days watching your favorite movie, visiting an art show, or spending some great quality time near a local beach. But remember, you have to treat it as a real vacation, so WORK is not allowed during this time.

2. Partner with friends or family.

Family Together During Outdoor Barbecue

If a staycation is not your thing, create a “girls getaway” or a friend and family getaway.  Not only will you enjoy the quality time spent with some of the people you enjoy the most (hopefully, right?), but you can also reduce the cost of travel, lodging and food if you play your cards right.

First, gather a group of your friends and family.  Next, make a determination of a few places you would like to travel and vote on the one spot that appeals to your group.  Then, create a budget, which may include all expenses from road trip costs, lodging at your favorite hotel, food and tourist attractions. Finally, divide the costs among each of you and consider creating online payment plans to break down payments into smaller increments.  This would not only reduce the cost of your trip, but make certain it is affordable for everyone!

3. Find free things to do.

Parents and their son walking on the beach

You know how the old saying goes, “Sometimes the best things in life are free.”  Well, there is some truth in this!  I can recall a friend inviting me to a lake that I never visited before, although it was a few miles from my home.  I instantly fell in love!  The spot was simply magical.  And of course it cost nothing. There are many places just like this that are literally steps away from your doorstep!  But because of the hustle and bustle of the world, we sometimes think that to enjoy anything, it will cost us a pretty penny. But this is not always the case.

Take time to explore hidden treasures in your area.  Find places that don’t cost anything to enjoy!  Whether it is enjoying the beautiful views of a nearby beach, exploring a nature walk that is located near your home or simply visiting an art gallery, there are many things you can do for free. The great thing is that you can utilize these treasured moments to really relax and enjoy the great gifts God has placed right in our presence.  If your mind is stuck as to where you can find these places, check out 15 fun and free things to do! 

Remember: your choice, your future!

Kemberley Washington, CPA is a professor at Dillard University and the co-founder of the B.A.D.G.E. plan. She is also the author of “The Ten Commandments of Financial Healing.” For more on Kemberley and her work, visit