NBSB Gives Tips on How to Be Frugal and Still Have Fun This Summer
Let’s face it. This summer may not be the summer we were hoping for and our extravagant vacation plans may no longer be possible because of financial restraints, travel restrictions or health concerns, but sometimes you have to make the best of a situation and decide to have fun anyway!
North Brookfield Savings Bank has come up with some low-cost and fun summer experiences to help you make the most of your summer, while staying close by and on a budget.
Take a Hike
If you have not already, now is a perfect time to explore all those trails you have never been to. There are so many local hiking treasures nearby but if you have already explored those once (or many times) there are endless amounts of hiking options throughout Massachusetts. A quick google search will provide you with options or you can download trail apps to get ratings and more details on the trails you want to visit. Some close by popular spots include the Sturbridge Leadmine Mountain Trail, West Brookfield Rock House Reservation and, of course, the Quabbin Reservoir.
Plan a Beach Day
Staying overnight is fun, but it also makes a huge dent in your budget. By planning a one day beach trip you get to have all of the water, sun and fun of the beach but without the extra expense. There are plenty of Massachusetts ocean side destinations that are a comfortable drive away but you will want to make sure you pack the night before and get up early to hit the road. Many beaches still have restrictions to parking and capacity making an early arrival a better bet when visiting a more popular beach. Do your research before you head out!
Some campgrounds are beginning to allow campers to make reservation and camp on-site with some restrictions in place. Even if some extras may not yet be available at those sites (public picnic areas, etc.), a change of scenery may be just what is needed. Still not ready to venture to a campsite? Set up camp in your own backyard. Make the experience truly authentic by cooking on a camp fire, sleeping in the tent (yes, all night long), and by playing card games.
Backyard Water Park
Create your very own, DIY customizable backyard water park. There are so many ideas out available, from basic to extreme, but maybe you just start by making a good old fashioned slip and slide with some garden plastic and a hose. Set this up along a slope in your yard, then run and slide to create a big splash!
Have a Picnic
Whether you venture off to a new location, or you simply step into your own backyard, a picnic is a classic way to change up your everyday meal. Visit a local business to purchase cheese, crackers, fruits and cured meats or pack some delicious sandwiches, fun beverages, and dessert options. For a classic picnic make sure you bring a blanket to lay on the grass. Don’t forget utensils!
Visit Your Local Watering Hole
Many local communities have town lakes, ponds or beaches that you can, relax at, swim at or explore. Bring nets, buckets, floaties and pack a lunch to make a day of it. If you have a kayak or canoe these are typically great spots to discover. Check to see if you have to be a town resident before heading out the door and brush up on the latest requirements expected so there are no surprises when you arrive.
Have a Fire & S’more’s Night
For many, nothing embodies summer in a dessert more than graham crackers with melted chocolate and ooey-gooey, fire-toasted marshmallows squished in-between. So get your sticks sharpened and s’more supplies ready so you can celebrate summer by the fireside as you attempt to perfect your marshmallow toasting techniques. For a fun spin on this, try adding different candies like peanut butter cups or chocolate coated candies.
Take a Bike Ride
Whether you are an avid cyclist or simply want to take the old bike out for a spin, a bike ride is a perfect way to get the wind in your hair, discover new places and even get some exercise in your day. Aren’t comfortable biking on the roads? With so many local bike trails, you will have no shortage of car-free places to get your pedal on. The Mass Central Rail Trail in New Braintree is a great local place to get started or you can go online to Visit-Massachusetts.com to learn more great biking locations.
Visit a Local Fruit Farm to Pick Your Own
With so many local farms at our fingertips, fruit picking is something you should definitely put on your summer to do list. I mean, how perfect is a red, juicy, sweet strawberry on a hot summer day? Different fruits are available at different times during the seasons so you will want to keep a close look out to not miss your chance to pick. You can follow most local farms on social media and they will inform you when their crops are ripe for picking. Then you can make jams, pies and all sorts of sweet treats!
Look for Fireflies
Age 3 or 60, the magic of fireflies is one summer memory that should never be missed. Remember, they love it to be very pretty warm. After it is dark, if you go outside in your backyard or take a drive to a local field, you can watch the wonder of thousands of fireflies twinkling with their display. There is nothing else like it. Fireflies are actually facing extinction due to habitat loss so make sure you take in this wonder and appreciate the sight they offer.
Start Saving for the Vacation of Your Dreams
So, this may not be the most “fun” item on the list but you will thank yourself later. While you wait for things to settle down, start to save up for that extravagant vacation you have always wanted to go on by opening a Vacation Club Savings Account. Set up an automatic transfer to take the work out of saving and automatically have a designated and manageable amount transferred monthly or weekly.