Financing that Fun Summer

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By Rebecca Barnes, Prince William Living Publisher

Summer is here and thoughts turn to vacations and fun spots. Lots of attractions and activities are free, but others have an expense attached. So how do you afford the good times?

Tips to Saving Funds for Summer Fun:

■    Spare some change.

Each time you empty your pockets at night, put  your change in a jar. Have your kids search the house and car, too, for any loose or lost coins. You’ll be surprised how fast it adds up. An entire year of everyone placing change in the jar can make a major dent in paying for a summer vacation.

■    Find something in your budget that the whole family can give up.

Maybe it’s dinner out or cable. Reassign those dollars toward summer fun. Don’t have a budget? Start one. List all the places and ways you’re spending money, and pinpoint what you can easily do without.

■    Check your credit card accounts, banks, associations and clubs for discounts. Many groups offer discounts to their members for travel and events. Some send exclusive deals to those on their mail and email lists. These can also save you money.

■    Consider day trips. If a full week’s vacation with all the amenities isn’t in your budget, try one-day trips or weekend getaways. Prince William is rich with historic points of interest, museums and art and is also near mountains and ocean. You can find activities and interests that appeal to everyone in your family.

Remember that vacations are about fun, relaxation and spending time with loved ones. No matter what you decide to do, focus on the fun, not the money, and you’ll have a successful summer.

Lifelong Prince William resident Rebecca Barnes, when not producing Prince William Living, is the Public Information Officer for the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer  Fire Department (OWL VFD). You can reach her at


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