Ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream. For moms across America, summertime can be both a blessing and curse at the same time. While it’s exciting not to worry about packing lunches and dragging the kids to the bus stop, it is also a time when you might feel like you constantly have to entertain your children. This may mean a lot more discretionary income will go out the door than you have coming in each month. We put together our smart money moves guide for 10 moves moms can make over the summer to manage your family finances.
1. Have a budget – Whether you use a spreadsheet, 50/30/20 rule or www.youneedabudget.com, it is important to set expectation for everyone around how much cash flow you have for fun and entertainment.
2. AAA membership – There are lots of great discounts especially hotels, rental cars, & amusement parks. So when you are planning your family vacation be sure to check out AAA. The hotels alone could save you $20 to $40 a night.
3. Homemade ice pops – It is a wonder what you can do letting kids see how to make different low cost recipes from the internet. With just a few ice trays and some toothpicks, you can create a fun frozen treat for under a couple of dollars while you also entertain the kids.
4. Host a garage sale – How else will you get the kids to clean out their rooms while also saving money at the same time? You should sign up for square so you can teach your kids how to use a basic merchant service.
5. Use the 3,000 mile rule – There is a reason the glove compartment carries the manual that tells you how often to take your car into the shop. By following this rule, you’ll keep your car in good shape while it gets beaten up just a little bit more over the summer.
6. Set a weekly allowance for the kids – They will want to go to the movies, mini-golf, and the arcade. You need to set boundaries for the children and let them know what they have to spend each week. If you go on vacation to the beach, be doubly sure you set a budget number.
7. Buy clothes in off seasons – Look for whatever deals you can find on winter clothes or items that will be way marked down on the internet.
8. Find a fireworks night – If you are going to splurge for a professional game, I highly recommend you look for a minor league baseball game during fireworks night. The tickets are cheap, there is a lot of entertainment, and food is always reasonable.
9. Paint a room – While you might want to have a professional do the work, if you have a big space to paint in your basement or living room consider getting the kids involved. You do the baseboard and the edges and let them paint in the middle.
10. Shoe shop on the clearance rack – In almost all of your department and sporting goods stores, there is a rack with 10 to 20 pairs of shoes that are on clearance. Usually, you can find a good deal with a little bit of patience. This is both for shoe stores and sneaker stores.
Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.
Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.