Barbeques, camping, road trips and lazy days—summer is packed full of fun things to do. In the midst of all that fun, however, it can be easy to lose sight of your financial goals.

The temptation to spend a little extra here or there is common when you’re enjoying your summer-relaxation vibe. Occasionally, though, that temptation can result in you overspending.

Here are a few tips to help stay on track with your summer spending:

  • Try a Staycation. Instead of going on a costly trip this summer, put on your tourist cap and find things to do close to home. Central Oregon has so much to offer and some of us have never explored the area where we work, live and play. Have you visited the High Desert Museum or the Lava Lands Visitor Center? Floated the Deschutes River? Tested your endurance hiking the South Sisters? Attended one of the many concerts—some of which are even free (see below Calendar of Events)? What about taking advantage of the amazing trail systemsparks and campgrounds? We live in an amazing 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.