There’s nothing quite like the joys of summer! From sizzling barbeques to blissful camping trips, scenic road trips to those indulgent lazy days—it’s a season that brims with adventure and excitement. 

But amidst the fun, the lure of spending a bit more while soaking up the summer fun can easily lead to overspending.

But worry not. We’ve got you covered with some smart tips to keep your summer spending in check.

Try a Staycation

This summer, trade in your costly vacation for an exciting adventure right in your own backyard. Unleash your inner tourist and rediscover the wonders of Central Oregon. Many of us haven’t fully explored this vibrant area where we work, live, and play.

Have you ever marveled at the wildlife and exhibits of the High Desert Museum or the geological wonders at the Lava Lands Visitor Center? How about a refreshing float on the Deschutes River or challenging yourself with a hike up the South Sisters? You could also enjoy a concert or two—many of which are free (check out our Calendar of Events). And let’s not forget our stunning parks, trail systems, and idyllic campgrounds? We’re fortunate to live in such a spectacular area—take advantage of what it has to offer.

Find inexpensive fun for the kids

Entertaining the kiddos during the summer break can be expensive. But fun activities that won’t break your budget do actually exist. If you’re looking to keep the kids occupied, head to the nearest discount store or garage sale and buy some low-cost toys and games. Check with the local recreation center and libraries, they can be a great resource for no-cost activities for kids of all ages. Or you could get together with other parents to plan special outings such as sports meetups or playdates at someone’s house. Kids can still have a great time socializing with their friends and learning new things without you breaking the bank to give them a fun summer. 

Cool your air conditioning costs

Air conditioning is one of the biggest expenses over the summer months. Did you know you can save 10 percent a year on your cooling bills by setting your thermostat just seven to 10 degrees higher for eight hours a day? You can also save by doing simple things like closing the blinds, using a fan, getting a programmable thermostat or cleaning your air vents. You should also look around doors and windows for gaps or cracks you could caulk in order to avoid letting cold air out and warm air into your home. 

Leave the car in the garage

Take advantage of those longer days and sunny rays and switch to walking or riding your bike (check out the links above for amazing trail options). Making this change will save at the gas pump, and free up money for other things you want to do this summer.

Cash in your credit card rewards

Thanks to reward points, using a credit card to pay for summer fun can definitely be a bonus. For example, with Mid Oregon Everyday Rewards VISA you receive a point for every $1 and double points for gas and groceries: $1,000 gas/groceries = 2,000 points; $500 miscellaneous purchases = 500 points. Total of 2,500 points = $25 in prepaid gift cards or cash! Cha-ching.

By following these simple tips, hopefully you can make sure you don’t overspend during this season while still enjoying all the fun that summer has to offer. Remember, summer is about quality time together with family and friends—not just the receipts and souvenirs you collect along the way.