Budget Buddy Friday Feature: 3 Budget Activities for Summer

Hey blog friends! Please enjoy today’s budget buddy, Eliza, who is chatting all about fun ways to save moolah this summer! Here she is:
As the warm months of summer quickly approach us, so do the dreams of extended beach vacations, new airy clothes, daytime drives with music blasting, and long nights of white wine and fruit salad. While many of these things will most definitely happen at some point, the infamous summer months are never able to live up to what we dream now that we’re full sail into adulthood. 

As adults, we no longer have the luxury of summer breaks from school and summer vacations with our best friends that we’ve saved for all school year. The summer months can be a very indulgent time of the year. We all want to take those expensive dream vacations and partake in those often pricey summer fun activities. 

However, this summer rather than blowing the little bit of savings you’ve recovered from the holidays, try some of these inexpensive summer fun options and spend your summer savings more responsibly.

This year, rather than spending a huge chunk of change on an extravagant vacation, try taking a mini staycation. I’m a firm believer in finding new and exciting things about the town, city, or state you live in before you dedicate all of your vacations to the California coastline, NYC, and Florida theme parks. 

Take a few days off of work just as you would with a traditional vacation and plan out an itinerary. The whole point of a staycation is to truly relax without spending gallons of money. Of course, a staycation can mean many things.

You can stay at your own home and just relax with a few days off work, lay out in the sun, go out to eat once, watch movies, take walks in the parks—do whatever it take to just relax. While this is one great option, I often like to make my staycations more of an event. While I will save money by staying at home, I like to plan out a vacation itinerary. Become a tourist in your own town. Visit the parks and museums you wouldn’t normally go to. The staycation is a wonderful way to get your summer vacay in without breaking the bank and staycations cut out the stress that tend to accompany real vacations (who likes packing anyway?).
Outdoor Hikes and Picnics

Summertime is all about enjoying the outdoors and soaking in the weather. Rather than cooping yourself up in expensive restaurants and pricy indoor activities (movies, clubs, bars), take your summer fun outside. 

Getting out and about and doing something active is the best way to celebrate bronzed skin and warm breezes. Take a local hike or visit one of the very best local parks you have in town this summer. Get your legs moving and break a bit of sweat. I find this is one of my absolute favorite summer extracurriculars on a budget. Summer just doesn’t feel like summer until I’ve trekked to a local springs or meditated under the shade of a tree in the park. Pack a simple lunch for a picnic and enjoy your day out in the summer sun. This is a wonderful way to get some exercise in your day, soak up what summer has to offer, and spend next to nil dollars. 
Free Local Events

Another great way to enjoy summer fun without enjoying summer bankruptcy is by looking in to the free local events that your city puts on. Most cities big or small have summer events, festivals, parties, and shows that are free throughout the warm months. 

Check your local entertainment circulation for free local shows in the park, free events at local museums, summer food festivals, and much more. While this does take a little research, free events can be a great way to enjoy your city to its fullest and save money on entertainment. Many cities and establishments celebrate summer by offering free activities. Check local gyms for free workout events, art studios for free art openings, and local schools for free lectures and plays. There’s always a lot more free entertainment out there then we first realize.

This is a guest post by Eliza Morgan, a full time blogger who specializes in writing about business credit cards.

Do you have any big plans for the summer? Spill it! We want to know! And, thank you Eliza for taking the time to write this post!

Budget Buddy: Rugged, Refined Rooms

Hi lovely blog friends! Happy Friday!

I’m excited to introduce my first Budget Buddy of the New Year, Jessica from Arcadian Lighting!

I won’t have Budget Buddies every Friday this year as I did with last year (just so that Fridays remain open and flexible.) However, the door is open to anyone who would like to send a post to be featured right here. Just e-mail me at Cat[at]BudgetBlonde[dot]com if you’d like to be considered!

Now, without further ado, Jessica:

Hello there! I’m Jessica, a writer for Arcadian Lighting, a wonderful source for lighting fixtures and interior design inspiration. I’m delighted to be guest posting for Cat today as I’m going to be sharing some lovely interiors that capture the beauty of contrasts. Some of the most popular trends in interior design right now are rooms that incorporate anything rustic, weathered, and industrial. I love the idea of mixing rugged pieces of furniture or accents in a room that is also quite elegant and refined. I hope you enjoy them too!

Rugged Wooden Floor

This gorgeous bathroom features very rugged wooden floors and built-in cabinet and sink. I love the very linear and symmetrical layout of the room and the industrial looking mini wall sconces.

Dusky Blue Paint

A fresh coat of dusky blue paint gives this room a crisp, elegant backdrop for the beautiful textures of the well-worn leather armchair and aged floor boards. The result is a perfectly cozy sitting room.

Vintage Finds

An easy way to add character to a very simple, all-white room is to add some vintage finds, like the antlers and antique mirror in the living room above. The shelf made out of old wood cartons adds an excellent bit of texture to a pristine wall.

Sliding Wooden Door

This living room offers another perfect example of what a difference contrasts can make to a room. The gorgeous color and texture of the sliding wooden door adds a remarkable amount of warmth and interest to the room.

Perfect Matched Pendant

The handsome redwood and concrete details in this kitchen and dining room create a very rustic, yet elegant atmosphere. The rectangular and cubed pendant lights fit in with all the straight lines used throughout this space.

Antique Chandelier

This beautiful studio space features a clean blue-ish grey and white color palette and a very simple modern sofa. But the exposed beams and antique chandelier in the background add a very romantic, rugged touch.

Impressive Pendant

A monochromatic color palette is almost always chic, and this kitchen is no exception. The impressive pendant light is as dramatic as it is contemporary.

Mix with Chandeliers

There’s nothing more glamorous and refined than chandeliers, and this beautiful banquet room demonstrates a clever mix of rustic edge and class. The mismatched chairs are a fun touch.

Thank you for having me as your guest today, Cat!

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Which of these rugged, yet refined rooms is your favorite? Be sure to stop by Arcadian Lighting for even more lighting fixtures and fantastic inspiration and tips!

Wow, did anyone swoon as much as I did? Y’all know I have a soft spot for antiques and anything with a bit of history. I could easily live in any of the stunning rooms that Jessica featured. And didn’t she do a fabulous job? Quite the writer, that Jessica!

Don’t forget to e-mail me if you’d like to be featured this year. I hope everyone has a great weekend!