I'm on a tight budget.  I am paying for an upcoming wedding and I have very little room for additional expenses.  So, what can I possibly look forward to for summer fun?

I have put some thought into this.  I enjoy the summer.  I moved from the cold winters up North to a nice Southern state because I enjoy warm weather and being out in it.  I won't allow that to change just because I am pinching pennies.  Bottom line, I had to stop being lazy and start to get involved with finding ways to enjoy the summer. No more waiting for things to happen; I had to make things happen. 

Here is what it comes down to: think about what you like to do, and figure out a way to do it locally.  What do I mean?  I really enjoy visiting wineries.  I like the uniqueness of them.  I like to do wine tastings and I like to visit with the other folks there.  I'm in an area where I can spend the day traveling to the different wineries, but if you add up the gas, cost of tastings, eating out, and purchasing wine....it adds up to an expensive day.  Flipping through a community paper I came across an article that was advertising the first wine and food festival in my area.  Wineries were going to come to us - just the way I like it!  To top it off, food vendors would be there as well as entertainment, all for $7.00 a person.  Can't beat that! 

Minutes away from my house (although I don't get to see the uniqueness of the wineries), it is a small price to pay for a day in the sun enjoying a festival.  If you don't "do" wine, don't worry. I was surprised to find other small festivals in my town that were being held throughout the year. It seems that businesses are getting creative in this economy and not waiting for folks to come to them - they are coming to us.  Events include various food festivals, charity events, and church activities.  Good fun, for little cost.  Look locally; you'll be surprised at what you will find advertised in your community papers.

I love movies, but at the cost of tickets and snacks, who can afford it?  In the summer we have a park that sponsors outdoor movies.  Friends and I pack some food, a blanket, and chairs, and sit outside to enjoy a movie.  Best part = no charge.  Sure the movies are a bit dated, but usually are the "oldies but goodies" that everyone loves to watch again.

Like to shop?  In my area the latest craze is neighborhood garage sales.  If I know it is going to be a nice weekend I check out which neighborhoods are holding a garage sale event.  On a beautiful Saturday afternoon I can take the dogs, park at the top of the neighborhood, and hit more than 10 houses participating in the community sale.  Get some exercise, keep dogs happy, and usually find a good bargain....all in all, a good day!

These are just three of the things that I like to do in the summer; but, there are so many more.  Once I realized that I can do everything I enjoyed with credit cards, just on a smaller scale, the rest came easy.  So, open up the local papers or stop and check out community information boards at your local grocery stores.  There are fun things to do out there this summer.....get out there and find them. And don't forget to tell the rest of us about them!