A few years ago I wrote a blog post called “Teacher Tips: Surviving Summer” that included a lot of our frugal tips, ways to keep academically engaged, and budget-friendly travel advice. However seeing as a lot of the travel part is thrown out the window this year, and that is a majority of our lives in the summer, I sat down to come up with a new post that is more social distancing minded or for any summer where you can’t travel.
I will not get on a plane this summer. It’s my personal choice and I think it’s the best thing to help this country get back on its feet. So I want to make it a priority to explore the stuff close to home. Will and I have always talked about doing a “Central Florida tourist day” where we spend a whole day pretending to be travelers locally (and I’m not talking about Disney). And I mean going the whole nine-yards: taking artsy pictures, researching places to eat, engaging the local culture, walking a bajillion miles, and all. I think this is the summer we’ll *finally* get around to it!
Read more: My Orlando Travel Guide
Balance Saving Money with Sanity
I am all about making smart money moves, hence every summer I go through our closets and sell stuff that I haven’t touched/thought about in ages. Additionally, we don’t typically eat out a ton or spend stupid money on Starbucks, so that helps us save money and not get fat during the summers. 🙂
However, my advice this year is a little different. I am actually going to systematically spend money this summer. For starters I feel it is my patriotic duty to help support our local economy and they need more of my dollars to do that but I will not do that by mindlessly buying new TVs or other stupid things I do not need. Projects that we have always wanted to do will get their allocation of funds and money that would have been spent in a pub in Ireland will find their way to some cool hole-in-the-wall place in Central Florida.
Besides spending my money to support the local economy, I know my husband and I will need something fun to do while stuck a home together for 2 months. In addition to little date nights with him I am also going to plan events with friends that encourage social distancing. Here are some ideas:
- Long walks/hike on trails
- Pool day
- Virtual hangouts
- Bikes/non-contact sports
Read more: Museums of Central Florida
Engage Your Mind Virtually
Summer professional development is the #1 way Will and I travel (& make money) over the summers so this one is such a heartbreak for us. I mean we had some hella good travel plans this summer! But alas all our summer PD has been canceled. Now many of you might be thinking, you work all year, why even bother continue doing teachery things during the summer? Well a) because that’s who I am and b) what else am I going to do!?
I can’t fathom the teacher who wouldn’t want to do something during the summer, I mean it’s 2 months! But there’s a variety of ways to keep your mind engaged, at all different levels. I’m probably going to do all the following but you could pick one:
- Read academic books (books you have to highlight and write in the margins)
- Attend a short virtual conference or virtual summer workshop
- Take a class on Coursera
- Host friendly pecha kucha nights (yes, that is an actual word – read about them HERE)
- Book swap (Will and I do one every summer!)
In addition to keeping your mind active summer PD can also be a revenue stream. Will & I are teaching district PD this summer (& getting paid for it!) and I am virtually attending some online PD workshops with a small stipend upon completion. It’s not a ton but enough to float our other expenses.
This one is kind of a no-brainer but in Florida it’s hella hot during the days so summers at home can turn into a whole lot of sitting on the couch. I’m a planner, lol you probably noticed, and that means planning out the workouts or outdoor activities at the beginning of the week. This keeps us accountable and acts as a way to break up the monotony of each day. Here are some of my go tos for staying active over summer:
- Evening (after-dinner walks)
- Early morning hikes
- At home yoga program (I love Doyogawithme.com)
- At home workout classes (we do a video by BodyRock TV- Sweatflix on YouTube every week)
- Nike Training App
- Vigorously cleaning bathrooms (hell yes this counts!)
- Indoor soccer
- Bikes or running (just not in the midday heat!)
Of course if you have a gym membership, and feel comfortable going, you can do that. Will has one but is not returning to the gym at this time and I prefer to work out at home anyways (save $$), I do however, subscribe to doyogawithme.com.
Read more: Travel Tips: Keeping Active while Traveling
Cook from your Pantry
This one applies every season and situation! But I have an extra emphasis on summer when we have more time to play around in the kitchen. Part of our spend-less goals for summer I am trying to only buy produce and utilize things I have in my pantry/freezer before buying new stuff. That will at least help us save money for a few weeks.
It’s also important to pre-make meals & healthy snack items during summer because it can be hard going from such a highly structured day where the bells tell me when to eat to a more free-flowing day which typically means I end up snacking all day without actually eating a full meal.