By, State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt
Most of us are experiencing a very different summer. The out of state trips, kid's summer activities, and family gatherings we have been looking forward to maybe canceled. Perhaps you or someone in your household may have been laid off, and budgets are tight. This virus has many of us searching for summer activities we can do with our families while keeping everyone safe, and without going into debt. We are eager to venture out of the house and expand from the limitations of our backyard. We are all restless and yearn to look forward to something. While the thought of a "staycation" does not sound as appealing as it may have in previous years, we have no choice but to navigate this "new normal" and create something enjoyable for the entire family.
Did you have a summer concert planned? How about creating an at-home show? Dressed up, prepare a fun dinner, and play videos of the artist you were planning to see. Dance in your living room like you would have at the concert! Remember, PlayStation's Guitar hero? Invite the neighbors for a fun evening of family competition. Memories in the making, be sure to take some photos.
Kids' summer activities canceled? Create your own sporting events. Pull together a round of kickball as a family, bean bag toss tournament, scavenger hunt, or an obstacle course. These are things you can continue all summer long.
Were you looking forward to the state fair? Satisfy that craving for a funnel cake and cheese curds by recreating them at home! Set up a few fair games and purchase a bag of little suckers. They are a great prize!
Being frugal this summer does not mean you can't be creative and fun. Try updating your "typical" summer activities. If you enjoy evening bonfires, pick something new to roast such as grilled cheese, or make smores with cookies instead of graham crackers. Get the kids involved by teaching them how to start and maintain a fire safely, so they are learning and having fun at the same time. It's a win-win.
This pandemic has changed our lives forever and is something we will never forget. Have you and your family considered documenting it for your kids to help remember as they get older? Try journaling how quarantine was for them, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Create a time capsule. Include photos from our time of working and learning from home. Include newspaper articles, the artwork you created, pictures of empty store shelves, and the price of groceries. It would be fun to look back with your family in 5, 10, 15 years, and recall this time in history.
Although our summer may look different than we had hoped, there are still plenty of options to continue making those family memories, and honestly, isn't that what's important?
May your remaining days of summer be filled with family, fun and good memories!