Betty’s Tips for a Recession-Proof, Fabulous Summer! Say

PALO ALTO, CA, June 24, 2008-With the nation’s economy forcing families everywhere to rethink their spending habits, today released a list of 10 tips to help families enjoy summer while mitigating the stressful effects of an uncertain economy.
«Anxiety, embarrassment, pain – that’s what many of our users are feeling right now thanks to financial worries,» says April Hussar, managing editor, «Whether it’s officially a ‘recession’ or not, financial strain is causing women everywhere to stretch even further as primary caregivers. We’re being forced to give up even more of ourselves as we struggle to afford the same things this summer as last summer, and to entertain kids home from school.»
From camps to family vacations; pool memberships to summer childcare, this time of year really puts additional pressure on women to spend, spend, spend. With the belief that a great summer doesn’t have to mean an expensive summer, «The Bettys» (the Betty Confidential editorial team) compiled a list of top-notch, creative advice for cutting costs without cutting fun.
Here are a few of’s great tips:
1. Freeload!
Summer is a great time to find fun things to do for free, from picnics in the park (make them even more fun by packing real china and flatware) to potluck parties. Take advantage of your area’s free activities (library readings, free concerts or afternoons at museums, etc.) and don’t be shy about accepting invitations from friends with pools – just be sure to being a snack or drink to share!

2. Kid Swap
Yes – sounds wacky – but it’s not like wife swapping! Find like-minded families who want to take turns watching the kids for an evening so you can step out without shelling out for a babysitter. This is also a great tactic to use during the week if you stay-at-home or work from home.

3. Put Your Kids to Work!
We don’t mean digging ditches – but from about age 5 kids can start to learn the value of working and saving. If there’s a big-ticket item or activity your kid wants this summer… don’t just shell out – put him to work! It’s a life lesson truly worth learning. Yes, in the end you’ll end up being the one «paying» him for most of the work he does, but it’s better than coughing up cash all summer for every item that strikes his fancy.

4. Look for DAMAGED Goods!
Look for that shirt that may be slightly «off» or that piece of furniture that may have a bit of a scratch, and ask for a discount. It could be a beach towel at Target, sandals at Nordstrom or an open sunscreen at Whole Foods – most retail stores are happy to accommodate a slight discount for damaged goods.

5. Pamper at Home
If you have daughters into pampering, now’s the time to tell them they’ll have to cut back on professional manicures, pedicures and highlights. Instead, host pampering parties at home – girls-nights-in with snacks, movies and polish.

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