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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 September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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4. Short Term Vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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5. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

6. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding:

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

    Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

    4. Measure, Measure, Measure

    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

    The Bottom Line

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

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