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Managing Summer Vacation Expenses

Summer is supposed to be the time of sunny days and warm nights—conjuring up thoughts of the beach, Bar-B-Ques, bonfires, rest and relaxation. Instead, most American adults equate summer with financial anxiety, according to a new telephone survey conducted for the AICPA by Harris Poll.  According to the survey, about 6 in 10 U.S. adults (59 percent) said their financial tension during the summer matches or exceeds the stress they feel during the year-end holiday season. The costs of summer are stressful for everyone.  The following tips that you can use right away to get started saving for and reducing summer vacation expenses:

  1. Create your summer budget now. Get out your calendar and make a list of planned activities and related costs, registration fees, uniform costs, amusement park entry fees, pool memberships, etc. Knowing how much you need now will give you a goal and keep up motivation to keep saving.
  2. Don’t Be a Weekend Warrior! Avoid the weekend rush when you can. Plan midweek adventures, since everything from amusement parks to golf outings are usually less crowded and cheaper mid-week. Very often hotels and rental cars are discounted during weekdays.
  3. Hunt for Discount Coupons. Never pay full price for water and theme parks or other entertainment. Look for deals in the form of discount coupons at supermarkets, convenience stores and even hotel brochure racks. The savings can be 25% or more.
  4. Look for Freebies. When choosing accommodations for your vacation, consider the following to reduce costs: Does the hotel offer complimentary transportation to the airport, restaurants, or local attractions? Does the rate include breakfast? Having a meal included can save you a bundle, especially on longer trips or family vacations.
  5. Cleanout and Sell. Sell unwanted items on eBay or Craigslist or have a garage sale. This helps fund the vacation and gets rid of clutter at the same time. A double bonus!