Well, this is a first for me. You are usually used to reading posts about my crazy kids, running, etc., but I was contacted by a mom blogger named Shaye about writing a post for my blog. How could I turn down another hard-working, single mom who is busting her butt to give her child the best life possible? I happily accepted her offer, and here’s her post. It’s about clever ways to budget for a family trip without breaking the bank. Thanks, Shaye!
YOUR INCOME IS LIMITED ONLY BY YOUR IMAGINATION
Think about what your kids were thinking when the bell rang at the end of their last day of school before summer vacation: they rushed home thinking that the next couple of months held unlimited potential. They were probably thinking that they could do just about anything they wanted. Wouldn’t it be nice to help them realize some of that potential? Wouldn’t you like to give them a summer vacation worth remembering for a long time?
You might think that really great family memories are out of reach. After all, vacations don’t come cheap and your life is already full of other distractions like working 40+ hours every week. If you’ve got a busy schedule and you’re looking for some creative budgeting ideas, here are some tips to help you make and save some money without altering your already busy life. That family getaway might not be quite so out of reach.
Family fun doesn’t have to be expensive. Chances are good your area has plenty of free attractions such as street fairs. Sometimes you can even find great local businesses such as zoos that offer free days from time to time. Keep an eye on your local newspaper: free concerts and events are often advertised inside that can give you and your family some much needed quality time for cheap!
You Text a Lot!
Phones are a great addition to our fast-moving, modern society. Let’s face it: almost everybody has a cell phone nowadays to keep in touch with work, friends, and family. That cell phone bill is a great place to start if you’re looking to downsize some of your monthly expenses. If you find that you’re paying for services you’re not actually using, and you could get by with a less expensive contract, go for it! Or, if you text so much that you’re going over your monthly limit, consider switching to an unlimited plan. It may actually be cheaper than paying the overage fees. The bottom line is this: it may be worth your while to call or visit your cell phone provider to take a look at ways you can save.
If you’ve already got kids of your own, babysitting may be an attractive option for earning a little extra cash. Some people go all out and start up a daycare center in their home, but for most people, babysitting doesn’t need to be quite so formal as all that. You can keep it small to start with, offering to look after friends’ kids for an afternoon or so. After that, if you find it agrees with you, you can step it up a little bit. Best of all, you’ll be able to charge more than that teenage babysitter down the street, since you’ve already got plenty of experience as a mother.
If animals are more your scene, consider starting a dog boarding service. Lots of pet owners prefer to leave their pets at somebody’s home rather than a kennel when they go on vacation, so this is a great way to offer them that peace of mind while bringing in some extra money for yourself and your family. Plus, you get to spend time with some furry friends and even get outside for some exercise when they need to be walked.
This is just the beginning. There are plenty of ways to squeeze some savings out of the household expenses you already pay, as well as taking on some easy additional responsibilities to bring in some extra money. If you’re willing to take the time, you’ll find that bolstering your income isn’t as hard as you might have expected.
Shaye is a single mom that has a passion for family, budgeting, healthy living, fitness, and travel. She loves finding new ways to cook healthier and stay fit, all while doing it on a budget. She has a beautiful son and one eccentric dog, but wouldn’t have it any other way.. Follow her blog at http://simplyshaye.wordpress.com, and follow her on Twitter @simplyshayew.