Trans World Assurance Blog

Money Saving Tips for the 4th of July from Trans World Assurance

Posted on Fri, Jun 29, 2012
The Fourth of July is, for Americans, the single day above all others when we can celebrate the birth of our country and our shared American heritage. But more than that, for many families, July 4th is the summer holiday that means family fun and togetherness. It’s tradition for families across the country to consider the Fourth of July a mini-vacation, either with travel or just fun at home. But with the present economy stifling so many family budgets, too many people think it will be impossible this year to celebrate July 4th with a bang. Even taking tight budgets into consideration, families should not fear; the Fourth of July can be celebrated with just as much fun as usual, with just a few frugal tips.

1) The first tip is simple, but can be hard to follow for so many people. It’s simply this: don’t go overboard on the food. It’s almost tradition for Americans to cook to feed an army during holiday celebrations, and while such bounty is a blessing, buying and preparing so much food can be a major hit on the wallet. Aside from that, much of the food prepared for holidays goes uneaten, and is almost inevitably thrown in the trash. Downsizing the amount of food prepared is an easy task; people never eat as much as hosts usually plan for, and many will not miss food that isn’t there. Plan on having one substantial meal on the Fourth, maybe hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill with a few hearty sides. Prepare snacks like fruit and vegetable trays for those who get hungry throughout the day, and have plenty of water and juices on hand. Those who are celebrating with others should consider a potluck, even if it’s only asking guests to provide sides for the meal.

2) The second tip is even simpler, and is perhaps not so hard for many to follow. Keep the holiday decorations to a minimum, and be prepared to use what you already have. Holiday decorations, in general, can be expensive, and too many people believe they have to deck every nook and cranny of their homes and yards with red, white and blue. The truth is that a few simple and well-placed decorations will suffice for any July 4th get together, and spending hard-earned money buying extras will not make the celebration any more festive. Take a trip to the dollar store to stock up on a few patriotic touches – a few small American flags, plastic tablecloths, and perhaps one door decoration – and leave the rest of the celebration plain. Use your usual plates and cups, or plastic ware left over from previous celebrations. With good food and fun, no one will care about the lack of holiday themed décor.

3) This tip is perhaps the most difficult for many people, especially those with children, to follow, but it is probably the most crucial. Do not buy more than a few fireworks to shoot off on the Fourth. Fireworks are expensive, and buying more than a few for a small celebration can be beyond pricey. The truth is, most Fourth of July celebrations call for little more than sparklers, regardless of the need to go completely overboard at the fireworks stand. Those who wish to see grand fireworks displays need not despair; there are plenty of ways to get your fix on the Fourth. Most towns and cities have organized fireworks displays of some sort, which are always free for those who wish to see them. Taking a picnic blanket to the town center and communing with neighbors while watching the displays is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth. For those without organized displays to attend, there is always the option of spearheading a neighborhood group to buy and set off the fireworks together.

4) Finally, the most frugal of all tips is this: don’t travel on the Fourth unless your plans have already been made and you have already paid for the trip. Holidays are among the worst times to travel, especially with a family, as prices go up and lines get longer. Beaches and amusement parks are always crowded, and the cost of everything from gasoline to souvenirs skyrockets. Almost every family is better off staying home and planning their own private celebration. Not only will this tip save money, it will save the hassle and frustration of traveling at the busiest time of the summer.

While taking all these tips into consideration, it is important to remember that the Fourth of July is about celebrating our country, our freedom, and our families. Whatever the Fourth holds for each and every family across the country, celebrations filled with patriotism are the best way to mark this holiday.

Tags: personal finance, money saving tips, purchases