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Money Advice for Families From Around the Web

A look at tips from personal finance bloggers about budget-friendly ways to keep kids entertained during the summer.

Parents are spending more than in years past to keep their kids entertained this summer, according to the latest American Express Spending and Saving Tracker. The survey found that parents will spend $958 per child, on average, during the 2014 summer versus $856 in 2013 and $601 in 2012. They are shelling out for activities such as day trips to theme parks, pool memberships and summer camp.

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As a working mom whose paid a fair amount to keep her kids occupied during the summer, I think these numbers actually seem low. For example, we considered sending our oldest daughter to an out-of-state sleepaway camp, but the ones we looked into cost more than $1,000. So we settled for an inexpensive five-day camp at one of our state's parks. This is just one way we managed to keep the cost of keeping our kids entertained under control. I've rounded up several tips from some of my favorite personal finance bloggers to help parents spend less on summer activities.

How to Say 'No' to Your Kids [Block Talk] "If your bank account isn’t ready to handle the extra expenses that come with having your children home for summer, you could run into trouble – unless you are prepared to say 'no' in a constructive manner."

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50 Fun Free Activities My Family Enjoys [The Simple Dollar] "Each activity works well for a family with children, though many of them work well just for adults, too."

4 Ways to Save Money at the Amusement Park [MoneyNing] "Purchasing your tickets online is generally good for at least $20 off the price, and there are often discounts available through local retailers."

5 Ways to Enjoy Free Family Travel with Credit Cards [Len Penzo dot Com] "Using your credit cards to earn reward points for travel is a legitimate and easy way to see the world with your family."

American Family Budget: The Vacation Plan [Mint Life] "Summer vacation is a great opportunity for togetherness – to bust out of our routine and try something new. The trouble is our monthly budget, which doesn’t have much room for new adventures."

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