SIFE Financial Corner

U-News Staff

As the semester comes to a close, many students anticipate summer break. While some students from Kansas City use the time off to travel, others stay at home to save money. Here are some tips to make the most of your summer break without breaking the bank.


There are hundreds of charities and non-profit organizations in Kansas City that benefit both volunteers and the community. While volunteer work isn’t done for material gain, it is a good way to give back and experience the satisfaction of helping others. Not only that, this can be a great opportunity for résumé building and internship opportunities.

Plan a road trip

Although unleaded gas prices average $3.80 in Kansas City, it is possible to plan a day trip on a frugal budget. For a typical sedan that averages 24 mpg, about a 250 mile round trip averages $80 based on current gas prices. With five passengers, that is less than $20 per person. Cities within 250 miles of KC include St. Louis, Tulsa, Omaha and Des Moines.

Stay at home

The phrase “staycation” became popular several years ago. A combination of “stay” and “vacation,” staycation-ers in Kansas City have plenty to enjoy. is an online guide to Kansas City attractions that includes discounts and promotions. Getting a change of scenery can shake up a typical routine.

Camping trip

Local camping trips are a more budget-friendly alternative to long-distance vacations that involve air travel and hotels. According to, the average cost of a weekend camping trip is about $380. The average total spending on travel and vacation for an individual under the age of 25 is $435, according the Department of Labor Statistics (2008). Be sure and check out state parks and other rustic attractions.