By Clark Howard
Are you planning to splurge on an elaborate vacation this Memorial Day? Well, think twice! There are other ways you can enjoy a three-day weekend without breaking your budget.
Memorial Day is a time to celebrate America and get together with family. You probably don’t want to wake up Tuesday morning feeling financial regret after checking your bank account. Here are some Memorial Day weekend activities that are fun and affordable.
1. Attend a local event
There is a good chance some kind of activity is going on near you during Memorial Day Weekend. Whether it be a carnival, street fair or a beach BBQ, these events are usually complimentary or at a low cost and can be fun. Consider checking your newspaper or local listing for events nearby. If you can’t find anything, ask around — friends and family may know of private events going on near you.
2. Take a personal trip
Consider using Memorial Day Weekend as an excuse to get away — on your own. Taking a day trip or a hike by yourself can be a frugal way to de-stress. You may have had a lot going on at work or simply need an excuse to get away. Instead of spending a lot of money on travel, consider looking up fun places that are only a couple hours away. Don’t forget to pack your backpack with a meal and supplies. Enjoy a few days of hiking, fishing, exploring and getting to know yourself a little bit better. (And, if you have a credit card that rewards on spending or travel purchases, consider using it for any travel expenses you do incur — and then paying that balance off in full on-time.)
3. Host a family beach party
Memorial Day weekend is the start of beach season, so why not take advantage of it! If you live near a beach, consider hosting your own beach party. You may want to start a Facebook group or group text to let your friends know ahead of time. This can be a way to get friends and family together without going over budget. If the weather isn’t warm enough for the water, consider having a picnic on the beach. Have your friends and family bring their own food and drinks to help you stay within budget.
4. Hold a DIY sports gathering
Instead of having your traditional Memorial Day BBQ, why not hold a Do-It-Yourself sports gathering at your home! This event can be well within budget and a fun alternative to enjoy your three-day vacation. You might want to consider planning ahead for this. Invite family and friends over and make it BYOF (bring your own food) to help you save money. Consider playing flag football or soccer, depending on how big your backyard is. If your backyard is on the smaller side, then you may want to have family bring games like KanJam, Cornhole or Bocce Ball. The more games the better!
5. Have a staycation
Have you explored everything there is in your town? Memorial Day weekend can be a great time to get to know your hometown a little bit better. You may want to check frugal apps to help you find great deals and tourist attractions nearby. If nothing interests you, sit back relax and enjoy this three-day weekend at home. You may even want to use this time to catch up on some reading or writing. Whatever you do, enjoy it — the three days will be over before you know it!
[Editor’s Note: You can monitor your financial goals, like building a good credit score, each month on Credit.com.]