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Summer Vacation

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Published on July 07, 2020

Summer Vacation – Right in Your Own Backyard

Time for some well-earned rest and relaxation

Patio furnitureAfter a spring that brought more than just April showers, you could probably use a little break. With summer now in full swing, it’s time to start planning some fun in the sun.

While things will likely be different this year, there are still many ways you can enjoy your summer! Unexpected or forced changes to your plans could even present a few silver linings and opportunities to create new traditions.

There’s a lot you can do this summer to enjoy your family and friends and get some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Check back with us over the coming weeks. We’ll share some tips to spend your time, and money, well this summer.   

Let’s start with a visit to the oasis right in your own backyard.

It doesn’t take a lot of money or effort to spruce up the yard and make it a place you can truly enjoy.

A good place to start is with landscaping. A few improvements here and there can make a big difference.

Some experts advise spending 10 percent of what your home is worth on your budget for a total makeover. That means landscaping a $200,000 home could cost you up to $20,000. While the rule of thumb is to start your landscaping “up front,” meaning the front yard, because that’s what people see first, your goal this summer is to make the backyard an inviting place to rest and relax, so you can budget just for those improvements.

Start with some great-looking plants. Before you start loading up your car with hanging baskets and planters, take time to recognize where and when the sun hits your yard so you’ll know what plants will thrive. You don’t want to lose your investment simply because it didn’t get enough sun or too much sun. Flowers are pretty to look at and they smell so good.

You can add a soothing fountain for under $200 and some solar lights that charge during the day and light up your evenings.

Speaking of evenings in the yard, there’s nothing more relaxing than staring into a crackling fire. According to home advisor, you can purchase a fire pit for between $700 and $1400, depending on materials.

How about some long-overdue new patio furniture, complete with a swinging hammock in the shade? You can snap up a quality patio combo with padded chairs and chaise lounge for under $1,000. Being comfortable in your new oasis is key. That’s a gift that keeps on giving year after year. 

There you have it. Flowers, a small fountain, some patio furniture, and a fire pit can equal a short vacation any day of the week − and think of how much a great-looking yard will do for the value of your home.

When you are planning your budget, consider what you have already invested in your home. If you’ve invested quite a bit on improvements, have been in the same home for many years, or have intentionally paid more toward your principle balance, you may have equity available, making a home equity loan a good option if you plan on major improvements. The interest rate is generally lower than a personal loan or a credit card, and there are options for repayment. Your home is your greatest asset, why not ask it for a loan first before considering other financing.

If you haven’t done so already, now is good time to set up a savings account just for home improvements (and perhaps another one for a vacation fund). A few dollars right out of your paycheck into these accounts will make next year’s summer plans even more enjoyable. Did you know that you can add up to seven Daily Savings Accounts to your existing account? Think of them as virtual envelopes that will help you budget and save for specific purchases.

Go ahead and unplug, put your feet up, and enjoy your vacation. The best part is that it’s yours to enjoy any time you like.

Our FlexChoice Home Equity Line of Credit offers a quick application and funding process. Click here to learn more.

If your new oasis doesn’t need that type of financing, keep in mind that our Visa Cashback Credit Card is offering 3% cash back through Aug. 31, 2020. For more on our credit card options, click here.

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