Financial Tip of the Week from the Iowa Bankers Association:
Summer is officially here! Here are five low-cost ideas to help you enjoy the summer months without breaking your budget.
1. Explore your local library. Spend an afternoon exploring the library and you'll discover a wide range of books, DVDs, magazines and audio books that are available. These free resources are perfect for long car rides, family vacations or lazy days this summer. Be sure to check the library calendar for special events – such as book clubs, special classes or reading programs – that are often available at no charge.
2. Get active – and get outdoors! Summer is the perfect time to spend time outdoors hiking, biking and exploring local parks and nature preserves. Most of this outdoor fun is free, but you may decide to spend a few dollars to rent a canoe or kayak and cool off on the water. Pack a picnic and spend the day in the sun – just be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen!
3. Dust off the board games. If you find yourself looking for something to do on a rainy day, don't forget to check the closet for the classic board games you haven't played in awhile – checkers, chess, Monopoly, dominoes, Scrabble and your other favorites. Get your friends and family together for an evening of inexpensive fun and friendly competition.
4. Watch the stars. On a clear evening, spread a blanket in the backyard and do some stargazing. Find a map of constellations online or at the library to help you identify the stars you are seeing. With some additional planning, you may even be able to see special events like comets or meteor showers.
5. Capture memories in a journal or blog. Keep a record of your summer activities, vacations and memories by creating a journal or starting your own blog. There are plenty of websites that offer free services and software to help you create your blog and begin publishing content in minutes. Add photos of your adventures, and by summer's end you'll be able to reflect on your summertime fun for years to come.
These money-saving tips are provided by the Iowa Bankers Association (IBA), representing banks and thrifts in the state. For more information, go to www.iowabankers.com.