During the summer months, people often take more time off and attend more outings and social events, which can lead to spending more money. We all have limited budgets, so try a few of our money saving tips to stretch your dollar further, have more fun, and stay within your budget.
Park Your Vehicle
You don’t need to give up your car, but consider using it less. Walking and biking improve your health and they don’t consume gas or add to your vehicle’s wear and tear. Consider carpooling to work or events, too. Not everyone needs to bring their own vehicle to kid’s ball game, the beach, or the office.
Take Your Lunch
Making a lunch to take with you may seem like a big inconvenience, but it can be simple, save you money, and healthier. Try a salad in a jar, or make extra for dinner and pack the leftovers. Throw food in a cooler packed with ice if you’re heading to the park or beach instead of paying inflated prices at the concession stands.
Take in Freebies
Most people don’t realize that their city offers many free activities, especially during the summer. Check your local paper for free admission to the museum or zoo, library events, and free music or cultural festivals in and around your location.
Pamper Your A/C
Change your air condition filters regularly. Dirty filters can restrict air flow and make your unit work harder, which consumes more electricity.
Keep your eye on the weather, too. When the temperature drops in the evening, switch off the A/C and open windows on opposite sides of your home for cross-ventilation. Run a fan to push the cool air through your home.
Use The Grill
Cooking indoors heats your household, so why not barbecue instead? Invite a few neighbors for a potluck, and turn a regular meal into a fun event.
Hang Laundry to Dry
Nothing smells better than clothes dried in a summer breeze on a clothes line The wind softens clothes naturally so there’s no need for softener or drier sheets and you save on electricity.
Spend More Time Outdoors
Instead of switching on the television, head to the park or beach for some fresh air and exercise. Use outdoor LED lights around the patio or deck. They consume less electricity.
You don’t need to clip coupons from flyers to realize their discounts. The digital age means you can access coupons or discounts automatically. Honey is a Chrome extension that finds coupons for you and Ebates is a 3% cash back program with over 2,000 participating stores.
Plant a Garden
Grow your own seasonal vegetables and berries and freeze or preserve what you can’t use. All you need are containers, soil, seeds, and a bit of space on a balcony or patio.
If you think there’s nothing but junk in thrift stores, garage sales, and in online used marketplaces, think again! New or very lightly used merchandise often finds its way to these places, sometimes with the tags still on them and in their original packaging.
Use the Library
Your local library has more than books. You’ll also find newspapers, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and audio books at many libraries as well as free lectures, activities for the kids, and sometimes movies, too.
Is your home bursting at the seams with unused items? Most of us hang on to things thinking we’ll use them someday. If you haven’t used an item in two years, chances are you never will. Have a yard or garage sale, earn some extra money, and free up valuable space.
Create a Budget
According to a 2013 Gallup poll, only 1 in 3 Americans use a budget, even though it is one of the best ways to avoid financial difficulties and plan for the future. Simple free online tools like Mint allow you track your finances on your computer and phone.
Bundle Your Bills
If you own more than one smartphone, you can save when you bundle your services into a family plan. You can also save on insurance costs if you bundle your home and vehicle insurance.
While you’re at it, check your insurance coverage to ensure you have sufficient liability coverage. Spending more time outdoors often increases risk, especially if you have a pool or trampoline. Your insurance agent can help you reduce costs and protect you and your family.