During the summer, the kids are home and temperatures soar. It can be easy to let your spending get out of control, but if you approach the season with some simple guidelines in mind, you can have a terrific summer and save money at the same time.
One of the biggest financial drains during the summer is your energy bill. Air conditioners are expensive to run, so be sure to maximize their efficiency by changing filters regularly. Use curtains to keep out the hot sunshine and stay in cool areas. Alternatively, switch off the air conditioners completely, open the windows, and use fans.
The oven is an energy hog, so you should try to cook outdoors whenever you can. When you need to use the oven, maximize efficiency by cooking several meals at once. Remember to turn down the hot water heater when the weather warms up. Give the electric dryer a rest, and air-dry your clothes on an outdoor line. Finally, use the summer months to do an energy audit and upgrade your house for the coming cold weather.
Save on Travel
Save on both money and stress by having a vacation at home. Relax in comfort and security, and enjoy local activities. If you want or need to travel, book airline tickets early for discounted prices and pack lightly to avoid exorbitant luggage fees. If you drive, choose your route wisely to minimize fuel expenditure. To further save on gas, keep your speed down, and use the air conditioner in your car as rarely as possible. No matter how often you travel, you will save money by bringing your own snacks instead of buying them along the way.
Bottled water is one of the most wasteful items you can buy. Instead, install a water filter on your tap, or use a pitcher that filters drinking water. You will save a lot if you buy your ice cream at the grocery store instead of at a specialty shop, and brew your coffee at home instead of heading for a high-priced coffee outlet.
Your cable fees can run you well over a hundred dollars a month, so when the weather is warm, opt for outdoor activities instead. If you really like TV and movies, it is much less expensive to get content with a monthly subscription to Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Prime than to buy cable. Forget the gym and its expensive fees for the summer, and enjoy vigorous outdoor exercises like running, cycling, and swimming.
Economize in the Yard
To economize on your water bill, water your lawn less, as most yards are over-watered. When the grass needs to be cut, use a push mower instead of a gas-guzzling power mower. Consider planting vegetables and herbs in your garden for big savings at the grocery store. If you like decorative outdoor plants, be sure they are indigenous plants that adapt well to the local climate, reducing the cost of upkeep. During the warm months, clear your storage of unneeded items and have a yard sale to raise some cash.
During the summer, as well as at any other time, your main consideration should be to set a budget and stick to it. These money-saving tips will help you accomplish that goal.
This article was written by Richard Craft, an MBA student who hopes to help you with your finances. He recommends taking a look at the banking jobs with moneyjobs.com if you’re interested in helping others with their finances. Check out their website today and see how they can help!