Article | 2:28 min read

5 Ways to Treat Yourself this Summer without Breaking the Bank

Budget and Save

The heat of summer has arrived. Without the costs of school to hold you back, it may feel as though you have the extra funds to burn or simply time to finally enjoy yourself and relax a bit.

Two people enjoying ice cream cones

Though “I'm on a vacation” may feel like a viable excuse to spend a little extra money here and there, if you spend irresponsibly, by the the end of the season you will come to realize that the sunny weather has scorched through more than just your skin.

So what's the solution to your summer spending? Space out and monitor those expensive warm weather activities. Here are five activities to add to your summer bucket list that won't destroy your bank account.

1. Forrest Park. Located in the heart of St. Louis, Forrest Park was created with a vision in mind that “the rich and poor, the merchant and mechanic, the professional man and the day laborer, each with his family and lunch basket, can come and enjoy his own…all without stint or hindrance…and there will be no notice put up to 'Keep off the grass.'” This 1,300 acre city oasis is home to five major attractions: Saint Louis Art Museum, the Saint Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, The Muny, and the Saint Louis Zoo. Spend a day (or two) this summer riding paddleboats, exploring the attractions, and taking in the natural beauty of the park.

2. Downtown Jefferson City. Visit historic Downtown Jefferson City for a unique location that has something for everyone. From bars to boutiques, museums to movies, it's easy to find the right experience for you. The area is known as the heart of the Jefferson City community, and hosts such noteworthy summer events as Thursday Night Live and Salute to America.

3. Kansas City Farmers Market. Every Saturday and Sunday the Kansas City Farmers Market is open for business. More than 150 vendors provide plants, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, crafts, and more to the people of Kansas City year-round. The City Market has been located in the same place since about 1857, and still draws crowds of tourists and regulars alike. Take a trip to this community landmark this summer, and enjoy its unique and lively environment.

4. Elephant Rocks State Park. Head to southeast Missouri and visit one of the state's most iconic parks, Elephant Rocks. The stunning rock formations you can see here are formed from 1.5 billion year old granite, and can be seen standing end to end like a train of circus elephants. Stop by this summer, climb between the boulders, and have a memorable picnic among the trees.

5. Branson Landing. Visit Branson Landing in Branson, MO for a scenic boardwalk along the Taneycomo Lakefront. The area boasts plenty of opportunities for shopping, dining and entertainment, including spectacular fountain shows occurring hourly. The Branson Landing is your destination for the quintessential Branson experience. While exploring the shops and good eats, just remember how important it is to stick with your budget.

Filling your summer with these low budget activities will help keep spending down, and summer fun up. So have a good summer, and as always, spend responsibly.

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