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20 Amazing Budget Summer Activities

20 Amazing Budget Summer Activities

Summer is here for many of us on this side of the planet. Unfortunately, the inevitable truth is that while Summer has arrived, money is about to leave. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Even if you’re frugal and aim for low budget summer activities, you can still have lots of fun. Often, these cheaper activities turn out to be more fun and interactive than an expensive vacation.

Whether you’re a student, parent, or looking for budget activities to do with your friends over the Summer, you’ll find something you’ll enjoy on this list of things you can do without emptying the bank account for Autumn.

1. Play mini golf

Most large cities in North America have miniature golf courses. The best part is that they’re usually much cheaper than going to the professional courses, where you might not have as much fun — unless you’re a keen golfer.

2. Go Swimming

Go to your local swimming baths and take a dive. This also has obvious health benefits, as you’ll be getting some exercise too. If you don’t have swimming pools then be adventurous and go swimming in a lake, reservoir, or in the sea — just make sure it’s safe to do so first.

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3. Climb a hill

Hills are smaller than mountains but big enough to still be a good day out. Whether you’re going with friends or family, it’s good to take in nature every once in a while, especially if you live in urban areas.

4. Climb a mountain

If you’re looking for something more adventurous that hill climbing, then go climb a mountain. If you’re planning on climbing a mountain then make sure you look up good routes and take the correct safety precautions. The mountain doesn’t have to be Everest, you can always go to your nearest one.

5. Go fruit picking

Different fruits have different seasons in the different parts of the world. Take a look at what’s available in your local area. For example, you could go strawberry picking. You usually buy a box and you can fill it with as much as you like. If you’re sneaky, you can also cram some strawberries in your mouth as you go around.

6. Cycle somewhere

If you have a bike, try cycling to somewhere different, and take your friends or family with you. If you don’t all have bicycles then you can rent them. It’s usually very cheap to do so, especially if you live in Europe.

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7. Visit a castle

In many places, castles actually charge you for entry. However, if you search the internet, you’ll be able to find ones with either cheap entry or free entry. Castles can be especially good if you have children (or big kids at heart) who love role-playing games. Many larger castles often do shows and events too, so keep an eye out for them.

8. Go to car-boot sale

In England, this is where we all go with our cars and sell things that we don’t want from our boots (trunks). They’re usually held in fields or car parking lots. If you’re on a budget this will hopefully help you increase your budget — while having a fun day bartering with passers-by.

9. Make ice lollies

You can purchase ice lolly moulds for really cheap from places like Amazon.com or your local supermarkets. They tend to last a long time too. All you need on top of these is a liquid to freeze. This can be fruit juice, squash (cordial), or any sort of flavoured drink. Try to get the bendy silicone moulds, as the plastic ones tend to break and the ice never comes out at easily.

10. Host a BBQ

Provided you (or someone you know) has a barbecue, you can host a BBQ party. Obviously, it will be expensive if you provide all the food and drinks, so you should make it compulsory for everyone to bring an item of food. This is great because people will also bring food they want to eat so you won’t have to feel bad when you forget to cater for the vegetarians.

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11. Sunbathe

This is the time of the year when the sun is out, so catch some rays. It doesn’t cost a thing and if you already waste money on sunbeds, here’s a chance for you to save some money and get some healthier rays.

12. Orgami

Paper is super cheap to buy, especially if you buy a whole book of printer paper. There’s a massive amount of resources online showing you how to make different animals and origami stuff. If you’ve got younger siblings or children, then you’ll entertain them for hours with this, while teaching them something new at the same time.

13. Start a garden

You’ve still got time to grow flowers and plants in your garden. Seeds don’t tend to cost that much, so go get some and plant them. If you’re really naughty, you could dig up a plant from somewhere and plant it in your garden — however, this is illegal.

14. Go for a picnic

A picnic is a great budget activity for friends and family. It can also work out as a cute date for you and a loved one too. Make your own food to take with you so that you can keep the expenditure low.

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15. Go camping

If you (or someone you know) own a tent or camper van, then go camping. Take your family and friends with you. You could always take a loved one and plan a night under the stars.

16. Take a younger sibling to the park

If you’re old enough to be trusted, take a younger family member to the park. Even if it’s just a walk, younger people are full of energy and will entertain themselves while entertaining you at the same time. This will also keep you in your family’s good books too!

17. Go to a summer fete

There are summer fetes and “festivals” popping up all over the place during the summer. Fetes are great places to get hold of local specialties and see more of your local “culture”. You can also often pick up things fairly cheap from summer fetes.

18. Visit a museum

Many museums offer free entry and regularly have new exhibitions on during the summer. Whether it’s local history or general history, they’re great places to keep up with what’s already happened.

19. Visit an art gallery

Similar to museums, art galleries also often offer free entry. They tend to have more new exhibitions hosted than museums, some of which push boundaries that you may never have imagined. This will often help heighten more senses than you thought.

20. Have a film marathon

We’ve all got a DVD collection tucked away somewhere  and even if you don’t, the internet is at your disposal if you want to watch every single Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings film over the course of a day!

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Josh miller

Founder TrueMiller.com, Josh Miller Enterprises

How To Make Money With CPA: Content Locking How To Use Instagram on a Windows 10 Computer 13 Ways To Make WordPress Load Faster Budget Summer Activities 20 Amazing Budget Summer Activities Success 8 Basic Skills All Successful People Have

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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