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image_34398312600_oSummertime evokes lots of images – relaxing in the backyard, enjoying an impromptu picnic or barbecue, maybe heading to the beach or camping – and most of those images involve family and loved ones. For kids, the summer months are met with great anticipation and excitement – after all, two or three months without school is, for most kids, a major reason for celebration.

While a lot of families plan at least one or two special events during the weeks of summer vacation, there’s no denying even a modest vacation or a day spent at an amusement park or boardwalk can be costly, and for plenty of hardworking moms and dads, summer vacations and even one-day outings may stretch their budgets well beyond the breaking point.

Of course, one of the best ways to make the most of summer without breaking the bank is finding ways to make summer fun more affordable. And estate sales can help you do that in two ways:

As a Sellermay1

This one’s pretty obvious: Holding an estate sale to purge your home and garage of all the goods you no longer use – from clothes and collectibles to tools and furniture to toys and games your kids have long since outgrown, you probably have quite a bit of cash stowed away in your basement, attic, garage, shed, or even in your closets and cabinets. Hosting an estate sale is a great way to pare down your possessions so your home looks and feels more spacious and less cluttered, while also pocketing some serious dough. Then you can earmark your earnings for a special vacation, day trip or special item like a canoe, tent or game the whole family can enjoy. For more fun and excitement, get your kids involved in planning how the earnings will be spent, or keep it a surprise until you’ve counted up your cash and can anticipate how much you can spend. Or, let your kids earn their own pocket money for the toys and games they sell (just make sure they don’t go overboard and sell items they’re still using).

As a Buyer

may2Even if you’re not into the idea of having your own estate sale, you can still reap the benefits of low-priced, like-new goods by visiting estate sales in your area, looking for sports equipment, bikes, new toys and games, camping equipment, or maybe even a canoe or kayak for some family adventure and fun. Once again, you can get the kids involved by giving them a small budget to spend on items for their own summertime pleasure, or you can have them do chores to earn their spending money in the days or weeks before a sale.

And there’s another advantage to using estate sales to fund your family fun: When kids see you working hard to make their summer more enjoyable, they learn the value of selflessly working for others to meet goals and make dreams come true. And that’s a lesson that’s a great buy at any cost.