A summer sunset.
Personal Finance

Save Money This Summer

Summer is a wonderful time, but it can also be expensive, especially if you have a family. These days, we need to be more careful than ever on how we spend our money, so let’s look at some ways to save on those Summer expenses.

10 Ways To Save

There are a ton of ways to save this Summer. Here are just a few examples.

1) Get Outside More

Take advantage of that great Summer weather and get yourself outside. For most of the country, this will be the best weather you see all year, so why not take it all in and save some money at the same time.

While you are outdoors, enjoying the fresh air, you will not be consuming utilities at home. Lights will be off, devices won’t be running and your body will not be heating up your home. Additionally, you are also less likely to be watching television or looking as social media being influenced by advertisers who want your money.

If you live in the South where the heat can be intense, enjoy the weather early in the morning. Even the warmest of climates has a portion of the day that is enjoyable.

2) Take A Cheap Vacation

There are a lot of cheap vacations that you can go on during the summer months. Everything from camping to renting a cheap Airbnb. Airbnb rental owners are still struggling right now and there are some great deals to be had.

Be sure to look at the deal sites as well. Living Social and Groupon are packed with travel deals.

Taking the time to search for cheap vacation alternative will pay big dividends. With the average cost to visit places like Disney being over 5000 dollars, it makes sense to save money by choosing cheaper alternatives. They might not have the glamour of the mouse, but you can still make memories.

3) Ride Your Bike

If you have an errand to run. why not ride your bike. Take advantage of the great weather and get yourself some exercise in the process.

Riding your bike will save you money in several ways. Mainly, you will use less fuel and save wear and tire on your vehicle. If you cut down your monthly mileage enough, you may even qualify for a discount on your auto insurance.

If you do not have a bike, you can pick one up for cheap online. Just look for a used one on Craigslist, usually they can be had for under 50 dollars. You’ll make that money back very quickly.

4) Cut The Cable Cord

Still paying for cable or satellite? Now is the time to put and end to that, especially since you are getting outdoors so much more.

A cable or satellite bill can easily reach 150 dollars a month. That is 1800 dollars in a year, money that can likely be used better elsewhere. Compare the cost of subscription TV to popular streaming services like Hulu that cost 8 dollars a month or Prime which cost $100 for a full year. Prime is a great option because it also gives you a shipping discount on Amazon purchases.

5) Regulate Your Air Conditioning

If you are cooling your home down to 72 degrees or lower, you are burning money for no reason. Set your air conditioner to 75 to 77 degrees and you could easily cut your electrical usage by 20 percent, depending on your home efficiency.

To make up for the extra warmth in your home, simply dress appropriately and use ceiling and/or portable fans.

Regulating your air conditioning usage will not only save you money, but it will also help your community. Cutting usage helps prevent the brown outs that are so common in larger cities.

6) Grill Outside

Summers are made for BBQ and cooking outside on the grill has a number of financial benefits.

For starters, it will reduce the heat in your home. Your oven and stove top release a lot of heat into your home, which will put a strain on your air conditioner.

Another benefit is that it saves you money from expensive take out or restaurant meals. A meal that might cost you 50 dollars at a restaurant can easily be made for 10 dollars in your backyard.

Don’t have a grill? Pick up a cheap one off of Facebook marketplace. People are always moving and they typically do not like to move their barbecue grills.

7) Cut The Gym Membership

With all of the great weather, why do you want to work out inside? If all that you use your gym membership for is cardio, cancel it and take your workout to the park.

Of course, there will be some of you that use your membership to the fullest, taking advantage of weight training and possibly even classes. For you devoted gym goers, keep your membership. The rest of you should evaluate your gym usage and cut this expense if it is not justified.

8) Stay Home

You have heard the term “staycation” and while it has been over used, it still remains a good idea to this day.

Think about what people visit your city or nearby cities to do. There are likely a number of tourist attractions around you that you have never taken the time to see. It could be the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, the Liberty Bell in Philly or Temple Square in Salt lake City.

If you have cool attractions near you, take the time to see them. You get a cheap vacation without the expense of travel or boarding.

9) Have A Garage Sale

The Summer is the season for garage sales. Why not pay for big expenses by having one of your own. A few hours sitting in a lawn chair will often net you a couple hundred dollars on a Saturday morning.

The key to garage sale success is to have signs and lots of them. Nothing fancy, just a little cheap poster-board will do. Make a sign for every turn along the way to your home. You should be guiding your customers from major roads all the way to your doorstep.

Once you have your money, you might as well hit a few garage sales yourself looking for deals.

10) Start Meal Planning

If you have kids, it means that they will be home more of the time during the Summer. If there is one thing that kids do, it is eat and that makes meal planning even more important than ever.

Meal planing is just what you think it is, planning your meals. Simply make a list of the meals that you want to make each week. Be sure to include plenty of snacks for the kids. Once you have your list, write down all of the ingredients that you need to buy and then cross off what you already have. You can then efficiently shop for groceries without the normal food waste.

Depending on the size of your family, meal planning can save you 200 dollars a month or more. Keep doing it all year long and realize savings of 2400 dollars while making your life easier.