books on a shelf library

5 Money Saving Summertime Activities

Whether you’re trying to distract a group of restless kids, entertain a few bored teens, or just enjoy yourself, the summer can be a taxing time on your wallet. However, there are so many things you can do that cost little to no money.


Don’t worry, just because you’re saving money, doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing fun. There’s plenty of time to save money AND have a great time.

5 things you can do this summer that won’t break the bank

1. Visit your local library

A wise person once said, “reading is fundamental,” and we tend to agree with that statement. That’s why your local library is the PERFECT place for the summer. 

Library cards are free and the entertainment you can find is endless even if you aren’t an avid reader. Many local libraries offer summer programs that cover a variety of topics and have the option to check out movies and video games, and some have digital book and audiobook programs, so you can listen for free, too.

Interested to see what your library is doing for the summer? Find out here! Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix


2. Get crafty

Do you love to get crafty? Do you love a good competition? Then you’re going to love this idea! 

Gather your friends and visit the local dollar store. While there, give everyone a (small) budget to buy supplies. Once everyone has their supplies, they will have a set amount of time to make their most stunning piece of art. Finally, choose a (preferably impartial) judge who will pick their top three favorite pieces of art. The winners can get an inexpensive prize. But really, aren’t bragging rights the best prize?

Try this one with your kids, too. To make it even cheaper, raid your existing craft supplies, old clothes box, or salvage cool leaves and rocks from the yard. A little glue and marker goes a long way!

Kitchen twist – turn this into a cook-off instead! Use a limited budget, a food prompt, and a time limit to challenge your friends and family to a chopped-style cooking contest. You can keep it cheap with pantry staples and whatever’s on sale at the local store. Take pictures and videos to relive the fun for years!


3. Volunteer your time

Who said giving back can’t be fun? Find opportunities to volunteer your time this summer. Spend time reading to children, find a local animal shelter and volunteer to play with or walk some four-legged friends, or serve food at a local soup kitchen. Volunteering at the community theater or summer festivals can come with perks like free or discounted event tickets.

The ways you can give back are endless, and you’ll be surprised by how fun these activities can be. Plus, you’ll be helping to foster a better sense of community.


4. Host a game night

If you’ve lived here for a while you know how hot summers can get. Even when the sun goes down the heat can still linger. That’s why we suggest hosting a nice, indoor board game night for you and your friends!

Have everyone bring their favorite dish (you can even have a themed dinner) and break out your favorite games.

If you don’t have any games on hand, or if your friends and family are scattered this summer, no worries! Use your existing gaming consoles to find games you can play together or apart. Plus, there are plenty of free or low-cost apps and websites that have got you covered. Find a list of them here.


5. Go outside

We know, we know, we just said it was hot, and it is. But it’s still summer, the perfect time to get outside! Whether you find a local watering hole to swim in, play in a sprinkler in the yard, or just find some shade with an ice-cold glass of lemonade, going outside is fun AND it is free. Just be sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.

If you’re hitting the backroads for a little adventure this summer, be sure to check out this survival guide from Travel Nevada on how to recreate responsibly in the desert. Load up on water, tell a friend where you’re going and don’t forget a just-in-case jacket.


Enjoy the summer we have left without dipping into your savings. If you can, put some of that cash you saved away into an emergency fund, or save up for a goal. Nothing like financial security to make your summer even sweeter!