Summer is here! As much as I love this season, the past years have shown me that I waste more money in July and August than in any other month. Unfortunately, there’s something about the freedom of a summer break that distracts you from being careful and budgeting your expenses. Due to the beautiful weather, I find myself going out with friends and family on a daily basis and eating out quite often. Not to mention holiday trips that we all go to during summer break when the family is together. Last year I barely made it to September with enough money in my account, and so this year I’m determined to not lose my head anymore and plan a fun, yet carefully budgeted summer. The following tips have become my money-saving guidelines for this summer and you’re all welcome to pitch in and add tips of your own in the comment section!
If you’re like me and consider air conditioning to be an absolute must in the summer, you’ve probably noticed that it’s a pretty expensive necessity. However, there is a lot you can do to lower the cost. For example, even adjusting the air conditioner to one degree higher than you normally do can save you as much as 3% on utility bills. Turning on the fan in the early morning or at night when the weather tends to get a bit cooler and saving the air conditioning for noontime and evening can help financially as well. Also, check to see that your your air conditioner filters are clean; dirty filters can actually increase cooling costs, since they block the airflow and cause the air conditioner to work harder and use more energy. Replace them, if need be. While it’s easy to automatically turn on the air conditioner whenever it’s warm outside, try this summer to implement these tips before you do.
Dry your Laundry Outside
Instead of wasting all that electricity on turning on the dryer to dry your clothes, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the warm and sunny weather to dry your clothes outside. If you aren’t able to dry your clothes outside, turn on your dryer to partially dry and then air dry the rest.
When hanging out with family and friends during the summer, you will find yourself constantly on the road. The beach, the movies, amusement parks, water parks; there is a lot to do with the kids and your friends. The most effective way to save money in these instances is to carpool. Instead of meeting everyone at a given place, arrange a carpool schedule with your family and friends so that money on gas bills can be saved. When the weather is cooler or if you’re going to a place nearby, use public transportation to further lower the costs. And when possible, stay at home and lounge in your backyard with your friends, throw a barbecue, or go to a friend’s house instead of going to outings that involve spending money for entrance.
Budget your Outings and Planning Ahead
At the beginning of each week, plan a budget according to your necessary expenses. Take into account outings with friends and family and all other expenses and see what you can cut down, while not missing all the main summer social action. Challenge yourself and decide to save a given amount of money that week. Do this by taking into consideration your income so that you don’t lose your head and live above your means. It might be difficult in the beginning but the feeling of satisfaction and achievement that you will get after succeeding in a challenge like this is second to none.
What are some money-saving tips you have to share with us for this summer?