Summer is often thought of as a lazy, laid-back season, but with vacations and energy bills, it can also be the most expensive. Avoid the high cost of taking it easy by trying out some of these money saving tips for summer.
*Save the air conditioner
One of the worst aspects of summer is receiving the electric bill. When the heat and humidity settle in, it’s easy to flip on the air conditioner and forget about it. You can save some money without suffering in your own home. First, try using ceiling and window fans in the early morning and late evening, when the sun isn’t on full bake. Then set the thermostat on the air conditioner so it will only run when the temperature gets too high. If you are going out, turn it a few degrees higher until you return.
*Let your laundry hang out
Another strain on the electric bill is the clothes dryer. In the absence of winter snow and spring rain, summer is a great time to hang the laundry out to dry. Let the sun and warm breeze freshen and dry your clothes, and lower your electric bill.
*Find a farmer’s market
Once the growing season is in full swing, farmer’s markets start opening up in full force. You’ll find locally grown produce, and possibly locally produced meat, dairy, and even baked and canned goods. With the middle man, transportation costs, and advertising eliminated, these products are cheaper and fresher. So stock up on healthy and affordable produce all summer long.
*Go to the beach
For the cost of parking, you can spend the whole day playing in the water and sand, reading that book that’s been gathering dust, and sneaking in a nap thanks to cool breezes off the water. Just pack a cooler, grab the bare necessities, turn down the air conditioner, and head to the shore. There are few places you can enjoy so much time for so little coin.
*Take a staycation
Are you considering maxing out the credit card to pay for your annual getaway? Don’t do it. Take the week off from work and stay home instead. Not having to deal with the hassles of travel can be refreshing. There are bound to be activities and sights in your home town that you’ve never taken the time to see. Just turn off your cell phone, refuse all invitations, and sleep late. Even if you eat out more often to treat yourself, you’ll still save a ton of money by spending your vacation in your own backyard.
*Have a garage sale
Summer is the perfect time to clean out the basement and plan a garage sale. Take a good hard look at the items you have stored away, and commit to cleaning house. Clearing your home of the clutter can be invigorating, and you’ll get more use from the extra cash than you will from all that stuff. If you can coordinate with a neighbor, a giant multi-home garage sale with a little local advertising could be the big summer weekend destination for bargain hunters and help you pay off a credit card or two.
The summer is a great time to simplify your life and give your budget a well deserved break. Let the warm weather and bright sunshine inspire you to save some money and avoid extra debt for the rest of the year.