Finding a way to entertain yourself while on a budget and trying to reduce your debt can be a bit challenging. Despite the challenges, we all know that total self-denial can defeat the best laid plans, so what is the solution? A little shopping around. Here are a few summer entertainment tips that should help you stay on track toward your savings and debt reduction goals.

Look Local

Last year I spent quite a bit of money on admission to the municipal pool. I opted to pass on the season ticket and overspent. This year I bought the family season pass and saved around $50. You may want to compare the average cost of admission times how often you think you will go before deciding if the season pass is the better deal for you.

Each year communities offer free concerts. You can find a listing of many of the local events at the Chamber of Commerce or a nearby Visitors Convention location.

If you prefer a good movie, many theaters offer matinees for a discount. You may want to avoid the concession stand, though. The number of drive-in theaters is dwindling, but if there is one in your area, it can be a great way for the whole family to see a movie at a low price.

Eating Out

One fun splurge is to eat out. Shop discounted gift card websites. Gift cards on these sites are often discounted because the seller received a card for a restaurant that is too far away or they do not like. Many radio stations and local television channels offer discounts on local dining on their websites as well.

Why not turn your dining room into a restaurant? A vase of flowers, a nice wine, and some indulgent ingredients can be turned into a romantic night for you and your significant other. It is also much less expensive than going to a top-notch restaurant.

Why not organize a potluck with old friends? The food is not the focus. Enjoying a night with friends that you may not see on a regular basis can be a great way to relax.

Your kids are going to want plenty of attention, so do not forget the local parks. A walk to a nearby ice cream shop can take the edge off of the ”I’m bored” syndrome. Another good destination for a walk is the library. Personally, I try to avoid the local festivals. They can be very expensive if you have children. If you choose to attend, you can easily set a limit for your spending and return later without your children to enjoy the live bands. Enjoy your summer!