Money Matters: Inexpensive Summer Activities Can Lead to a Healthy Wallet | News, Sports, Jobs

Camping, days at the lake, hikes, homemade ice cream, and a movie in the park all scream summer vacations. While summer can be exciting, it can also be expensive. On average, people spend $2,229 in summer activities, making summer the second most expensive time of the year.

Summer activities can be expensive if you don’t budget ahead of time. Having a plan for how much you can spend is key to sticking to your budget. It is recommended to spend 10% of your net income on fun activities like going to the movies, eating out or playing golf. For example, if you make $3,000 a month, you should try to spend less than $300 on activities.

When making a budget plan, try to be as detailed and realistic as possible. If you aim to spend $300 a month, for example, that adds up to $10 a day. A helpful tip is to plan one small activity a day or plan one big activity a week. Let’s go over some activities that will help you stay within your budget while having fun this summer.


What better way to spend a hot summer day than in nature? Camping can be a great way to connect with your friends and family without spending too much money. Camps can range from $12 to $48 per night

Camping involves an initial investment in equipment (such as a tent, sleeping bag, and chair, etc.). But after you buy those main items, the costs can be pretty straightforward. Here is a list of things you should consider buying when you go camping:

  • Lawn chairs ($5 per chair)
  • Meal ($3 per meal)
  • Water ($6 per box)
  • Small tent ($30)
  • sleeping bag ($20)
  • lighter ($2)

The next time you have a weekend off and are looking for a fun activity, consider going camping.

a day at the lake

Sitting on a beach or splashing around in the water feels good during the summer. Having a day at the lake is a great way to save money. Most of the lakes only charge a small entrance fee. The only other items you’ll need to worry about are a bathing suit, towel, water, and snacks.

There are several lakes within driving distance of Utah County, including utah lake ($15 entrance fee per vehicle), Deer Creek State Park ($15 per vehicle Monday through Friday, $20 on weekends and holidays), Jordanelle State Park ($20 per day) and Yuba State Park ($15 per vehicle Monday through Friday, $20 Friday through Sunday and holidays). Bring a group of friends to help split the cost.


Staying active is a great way to spend a long summer day. Even better, hiking costs nothing. Here is a list of walks with varying degrees of difficulty that Provo Canyon has to offer:

  • Cascades of the bridal veil
  • Bonneville Coast Trail
  • stewart falls
  • top of the y
  • toad head crest

Enjoy taking in the scenery around you this summer without spending a penny on these five stunning hikes where you can see waterfalls, fields of wildflowers, and countless aspens. And of course there are also tons of hikes in the neighboring canyons and mountains. Use your imagination!

Homemade icecream

If staying home is more your style, try learning a new skill, like making ice cream! Being able to customize your ice cream as you like is a dream. barefoot in the kitchen has a great creamy ice cream recipe that you can make on a budget. All you will need to make this fantastic recipe is the following:

  • 1 ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • … teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of your favorite ingredients

This inexpensive recipe can serve six people and will have everyone’s mouth watering!

movie in the park

Imagine sitting in a park full of family, friends, and neighbors watching your favorite movie. This is a great tradition to start with your friends in the summer. Many cities offer a movie in the park on summer weekends. They are usually free and a great way to meet other members of your community. Bring snacks and blankets to get the full experience.

Summer is exciting, even though it’s winding down, and it can be easy to lose track of your spending along the way. Plan your activities ahead of time, give yourself a set amount of money to spend, and look everywhere for cheap deals. Enjoy activities like camping, taking a day at the lake, hiking, making ice cream and seeing a movie in the park to stay within your summer budget.

Lindsey Certonio is a project manager at Stage Marketing, a Provo-based full-service content marketing agency.


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