Summer can be expensive. Between family vacations, block parties, swim lessons, and running your air conditioner, it’s easy to blow the family budget. In our family, we often forget that summer can also be a great time to save money. We get into spending mode and forget to scale it back until we start seeing school supplies in stores. Every year I vow to do a little better with our summer savings. After all, warmer weather makes it easier to save and even earn extra money throughout the summer months. Try these ideas to get your family saving this summer.
Stay close to home
It’s vacation season, but traveling a lot during the summer can really skyrocket your expenses. Instead, choose to stay closer to home. You don’t need fancy exotic vacations to make fun memories with your family. No matter where you live, there are things you can do nearby that are free or cheap. Perhaps even things that you’ve never done before. Take in the local attractions and enjoy sleeping in your own bed. You’ll have fun and still save money. For my family, this summer I’m hoping to take them to local hot springs and a waterfall I’ve been meaning to explore that are all within a couple of hours from home.
Air Conditioning tips to save energy
One of the biggest utility expenses in the summer is your air conditioner. We love to cool down in the summer. Unfortunately, cooling down can really add up. These tips can help you reduce that AC bill.
- Grill outside–Give your air conditioner a break by cooking outside. Use that grill your husband loves and take the heat outside. Your family will probably even savor eating al fresco. Who doesn’t love a picnic or barbeque in the summer? Eating outside also means less mess, so it makes mealtimes easy.
- Turn down the AC –Along with grilling outside, you can save money on your utility bill by using your air conditioner less. Keep things a little warmer inside to save a little dough.
- Replace air filters—Before it gets too far into the summer, replace the filters on your air conditioner. It’ll help your air conditioner work more efficiently.
- Shut the blinds–The more sunlight you have coming into your home, the higher your air conditioning bill will be. Close the blinds during the sunniest part of the day if you can. Even if you love the light during the day and can’t stand to close your blinds, at least shut your blinds when you leave home.
When your kids are bored, it’s tempting to pull out all the tricks to entertain them. Instead of going to the movies or expensive activities, try heading outdoors. Getting outside on a daily basis will improve everyone’s mood. It can also be the source for dozens of free activities. Go hiking, biking, camping, or fishing. Take a walk. Explore the outdoors with your family. Even National Parks can be explored less expensively with a National Parks Pass.
Take advantage of free local events
No matter where you live, there are bound to be free local events and festivals this summer. From patriotic parades to music festivals, know what’s happening in your city and take part in the fun. Pack your own food when allowed to save even more money.
Have a garage sale for summer savings
Summer is the right time to have a garage sale. Use spring cleaning (or more realistically—early summer cleaning) as a chance to gather the things you’d like to sell or donate. Sell your unwanted items to pocket a little more cash. Even if you don’t feel you have enough to warrant an entire garage sale yourself, combine with friends or neighbors for a block sale. It’ll help you clean out your home, and put more money in the bank.
Plant a garden
My family loves planting a garden. We pick out seeds and plants and then recruit our kids to bury them in the ground. Throughout the summer we love to watch our garden grow. It’s a great family activity, and it helps offset our grocery bill come harvest time. Stagger your harvests with different plants to enjoy fresh produce and summer savings all season long.
Need more ideas for cutting costs on groceries? Read: Save money on groceries with one simple change
You don’t really want your kids watching television all summer. They get grumpy and demanding and, according to my mother, it “rots their brains.” I’m not sure how much brain rotting is happening when my kids watch television, but they sure do turn into zombies. Make it harder for your kids to watch too much TV by cutting back, or cutting your cable completely. Not only will your kids be happier, but it’ll also save you money.
Boost summer savings with extra work
With all of the playing that goes on during the summer, it’s easy to forget that summer is a great time to pick up extra work. Mow lawns, work a second job delivering pizzas or sell concessions at a local event. Help your kids sell lemonade. No matter what you choose, use the warm weather to get ahead with summer savings.
Line dry your clothes for summer savings
Your grandma did it all the time. In fact, I remember my grandma hanging her sheets and clothes on the line all the time when I was a kid. Although it may not save you a ton of cash, every little bit adds up. Line dry your clothes outside. The warm summer air will quickly dry them, and will help them smell amazing. Another bonus is that you won’t be heating up your house with your dryer.
Unplug unused appliances
When you are spending less time inside doing things like cooking, watching TV, or even drying your clothes, it’s time to unplug your unused appliances. They are stealing energy from your power bill every month, so just unplug them.
Summer doesn’t have to empty out your wallet. When you plan ahead for summer savings you can save and even earn extra money to pad your pockets and fatten your bank account for fall. What are some ways that you save money during the summer? Have you tried line-drying your clothes?
SAVE for later!