EARLY YEARS: Bent Mountain mom's budgeting tips published in national journal
Summer break is starting this week for some students in our hometowns.
Fitting in summer fun on a budget can be a challenge for families.
Lesley Butterfield-Harrop is a single mom of four kids, so budgeting is a must.
Her budgeting skills are so impressive, some of her ideas were published in an article this year in Brigham Young University's alumni magazine.
"I contributed a lot of tips on how I keep my kids happy, how we engage in community activities, without breaking the bank," says Butterfield-Harrop.
Her children range in age from four to 10 years old, and one of them has special needs.
"So, my son has autism, he's in therapy daily, which I pay for privately and that really dictated the need for a budget," she says.
She's learned a lot along the way, and found helpful websites like mint.com to keep her spending on track.
"I love that they let you input your income, your expense and they'll kind of calculate and guide you. Also just consulting with a financial planner is always a good idea."
Butterfield- Harrop says when putting together a budget, you have to think about your family's values and priorities.
"Maybe you want to travel. Maybe that's a bigger portion that you'll put towards traveling of you free spending money."
Last summer, Butterfield- Harrop traveled cross-country on her own with all four kids.
She learned money- saving techniques for families of all sizes.
"It was interesting. I learned a ton. Definitely Air BnB's or VRBO instead of hotels. So oftentimes, you can rent a whole entire house," she says.
That means there's a kitchen, so less money is spent eating out.
A couple of more tips from her include attending a time share presentation for free lodging and looking for free walking tours.
"It's easy because if kids aren't interested, it's not working out, if they're tired, they need a nap, you can just pop in, pop out. It's not like you're going to waste your money."
You'll find a link to the budgeting website, mint.com and to Butterfield-Harrop's BYU alumni magazine article to the right of this story.