Money Monday – Memorial Day is a day to honor our fallen soldiers, and many people choose to spend the long holiday weekend celebrating those lives with family and friends. Unfortunately, holiday festivities can quickly become costly. Here are a few ideas for budget-friendly Memorial Day activities.

Go camping

What’s more entertaining than camping? If you don’t already have camping gear, don’t fret! You can purchase small tents at a supermarket or outdoor store. Or, you can always ask to borrow someone’s camping supplies for the weekend. Pack a cooler full of food and beverages and become one with nature. If the great outdoors isn’t for you, try pitching a tent right in your own backyard. You can enjoy all the fun of camping without missing out on the conveniences of your own home. Kids particularly love the novelty of sleeping in their own backyard, and that makes it even more affordable for you.

Host a potluck

Memorial Day weekend is all about being casual, and a potluck fits the bill perfectly. Invite your friends and neighbors over for a backyard potluck and ask everyone to bring their favorite dish to share. Plug in your phone or laptop and create a free playlist from websites like Spotify or Pandora. And if you don’t have any backyard games, ask neighbors and friends to bring theirs to entertain the kids and adults alike.

Go to the beach

The beach is perfect for anyone, whether you’re a group, family, or by yourself. Nothing provides a better official kickoff to summer. Your family can enjoy swimming, beach games, or just reading a book in the sun. You can make it a whole weekend event by packing plenty of snacks, sunscreen, and yard games.

Find local Memorial Day events

Plenty of events are going on during Memorial Day weekend, you just have to find them. Wherever you live, you can scour the local newspaper and websites to find Memorial Day events in your community.

Visit historical attractions

Depending on the size and age of your family, visiting historical attractions can allow you to relish in the splendor of this country – all for an affordable price. Be sure to check for discounts, for example, if you are a veteran or active service member of the military, you can gain free admission for you and your family to over 2,000 Blue Star museums. This benefit extends all the way from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Service members can also receive free or discounted entry to a variety of zoos, aquariums, and theme parks across the country. If you aren’t a veteran or service member, you still have opportunities to save. Check out Groupon for last-minute discounts for the entire family. If you are a member of AARP or AAA, you may have additional discounts available to you.

Rent a boat

No boat? No problem. Rent out a boat for the day to enjoy an afternoon out on the water. Small boats, like kayaks and canoes, can be rented. Speed boats and pontoons are slightly pricier, but you could always get a group of friends to go in on the rental cost with you. Pack your own food and beverages and hit the water for a fun day you’re sure to remember.

Participate in a race

Many families make it a tradition to run a Memorial Day 5k or 10k each year. And why not, they can be a fun and healthy way to celebrate the holiday. As a bonus, many Memorial Day races donate the proceeds to help active duty soldiers and veterans with expenses not covered under military benefits.

Take a day trip

Sometimes, the best locations are right around the corner from you. Take a day trip this Memorial Day weekend and explore a town near you. The biggest expense related to a day trip is gas. You can make the trip affordable by packing sandwiches and road trip snacks along the way. Visit local parks, shops, and museums to make for a cheap afternoon getaway.

Visit Family

Or, if you have family nearby, Memorial Day weekend is the perfect excuse to pay them a visit. After all, Memorial Day should be spent with the one’s dearest to you.

If you need budgeting tips – WE CAN HELP! Call Center For Siouxland’s Consumer Credit Counselors at 712-252-1861 ext. 47.