I love summer, but for us working adults with kids, summer is not always a walk in the park. If you and your spouse both work full time, it requires planning and thinking ahead to keep the kids safe and happy during this season.
Are there ways to survive the summer without breaking the bank?
Read on to find out!
Summer Survival Guide
There are many activities that you plan for your kids in the summer. The key word here is plan. It is now May which is a great time to make your plans for the next few months. When you plan these things ahead of time you will be able to secure the good babysitter and score a spot in your kid’s favorite camp.
I’ve put together a list of frugal and fun activities for you to consider this summer.
Ask your friends and family.
Whenever you are in a bind, your friends and family will be the first ones who want to help you out. When you are looking for childcare in the summer, grandparents may be a great option for watching them while you are at work.
They may be willing to bring them to swimming lessons, sports practice, play dates, and other activities. If you have close family relationships this is a great option because you know your kids will be safe with someone you trust. Using family will also be cost-effective for you.
Remember to have discretion here. Not every day is a ‘bind’ and grandparents need a break too…
Hire a babysitter.
Summer is also the time where high school and college students are on break, so you can employ someone to watch your kids. This can get expensive, especially if you need them 5 days per week throughout the entire summer. In order to combat that some parents have teamed up to use the same sitter.
For example, you could have one sitter watch both your child and your neighbor’s at the same time. This would allow you to split the cost of payments and food throughout the week. It would also help your child socialize and give them more activities to do. Summertime is a haven for free events. Before your sitter arrives, look up some events around your area such as reading events in the library, movies in the park, community pools, farmer’s markets, etc.
Talk with other parents.
This is a parent-parent team strategy here! You can work out an arrangement with another parent to watch the other’s kids for a week at a time. This strategy can also work for small vacations by allowing your child to spend a week with their friend and their parents camping, etc.
Work from home.
Some companies are allowing their employees to work from home 1-2 days per week. This could be incredibly beneficial for you in the summer so you do not have to hire additional help every day of the week.
It could also be good to coordinate with your spouse on this matter. Perhaps one of you could work from home the first half of the week and the other take the second half, switching as necessary. This could be super helpful and could help you manage both of your working schedules.
Summer is a great opportunity to take some additional vacation time, so use your vacation days to spend some additional time at home with your kids.
There are so many options for summer camps available from day camp to overnight camp, you can choose the best option for you and your family. Camps have a variety of activities from water sports to theater to religious-based, you will be able to find one that suits your child’s interest.
Camps, while great for keeping kids occupied, can also be quite expensive. The cost is a huge deterrent for many parents. I urge you to look at the financial aid packages available to see if that will help you and also to look at camps that offer free or low-cost entrance.
Look at your community.
Many local communities have a recreation department that offers day camp opportunities ranging from sports to arts & crafts. This can be a great way to keep kids busy during the day, and often these types of camps are much less expensive than overnight options.
If your child is already enrolled in a daycare program throughout the year, you can check to see what the availability is during the summer.
Summer is peak vacation season and if you are planning a trip, have a blast!
Summer for a working parent can be really difficult. But there are many options available to you to help make the process a little bit easier. Hopefully, with a combination of the above, you will devise an awesome, financially-savvy plan to keep you and your kids happy and healthy this summer!