Summer is finally here! Things like vacations, weddings, backyard parties, and summer camp can all potentially set your budget back. No worries, though! We've rounded up 10 easy ways to save money this summer, and help keep that budget on track.
Please note, we are not financial advisors or tax professionals. These are tips that we have discovered through the trenches of motherhood. Please reach out to a professional if you feel you may need it.
Ten Ways To Save Money This Summer
- Let’s discuss our A/C habit. - We would never tell you to live without air conditioning over the summer. Oh my goodness, Fredericksburg gets HOT. However, we do suggest being mindful of how you use your air-conditioning. Is it set to 76? Can you turn the upstairs air conditioning off during the day and keep the pets downstairs while you're at work? Rule of thumb: if you're comfortable in a hoodie in the middle of the day, you can probably stand to turn the air conditioning down. You'd be amazed how much money that can save you!
- Look for travel rewards! If you are able to pay off your bill completely every month, credit cards are a great way to rack up travel rewards points. Be sure to read all the fine print first, before choosing a card. Check all other memberships you are a part of (like AAA or credit unions) for possible unused travel rewards or discounts.
- Are you optimizing fuel efficiency? Taking a road trip, or just doing a TON of driving this summer? Be sure to check your tire pressure and don't put off getting your car serviced. The smallest things can wreak havoc on your car's fuel efficiency.
- Open your blinds- The sun is up and shining from 6:00am-8:00pm! Turn off those lamps and enjoy that free light.
- Break out the Crock-Pot or batch cook - This goes along with keeping your air conditiong around 77 degrees. You don't want to heat your house up by turning your oven on. Grill, use your Crock-Pot, and eat salads as often as possible. Batch cooking once a week is another great option! Spend one morning or evening a week preparing meals, cooking chicken breasts, hard boiling eggs, etc. for the week ahead. That way you can go longer in between stove uses, and aren't using it during the hottest part of the day.
- Look for the freebies, my friends. They are out there. Vaction Bible School is a free activity that lasts for an entire week. Several area movie theaters offer free summer movies or $1 movies. Freebies exists for those who seek to find them.
- Shop your closet… or your friends' closets. For one or two months, stop buying clothes. Like... completely. Just stop it. Try to wear what you have. Totally uninspired by your closet? Check out fashion bloggers for ideas on how to wear what you have in a totally new way! Our girl Lorriane has dozens of fresh ideas! Heck, make it a girl's night. Have friends come over with wine and outfits they never wear, and do a huge swap. Everyone goes home with cute, new clothes and no one spends any money... except for the wine.
- Don’t hang out at Target.- We love Target. Loooooveee it. If we're being honest, though, we ALWAYS leave with an item we never intended to buy. It's the mothership of impulse buying. Try to only stop by once or twice a month. Don't shop recreationally or because you're bored. YOU WILL SPEND ALL THE MONEY.
- Can you work from home? In many cases the answer is no, and that's okay. Working from home just one or two days a week will save you the cost of gas, wear and tear on your car, and may even improve your productivity. Think: No commute and fewer distractions. It never hurts to ask!
- Rethink your everything. - How much are you spending on cable? Maybe using a Fire Stick or Roku is a better option. Do you need all the phone data you're paying for? Could you be driving a less expensive car? Are you sticking to your meal plan? Is the gym membership worth it? We can't answer any of these questions for you. There is no universal right answer. Every once in a while, we all need to take a good long look at our spending habits and family goals and make sure they line up. Adjust accordingly.
And an 11th way to save thrown in for free... =)
- You need to ask, nicely. Making a big purchase? Ask the sales person if there's a discount you may be missing. Call your credit card company and ask for a lower rate. Heck, call your phone carrier and ask the same thing. You would be shocked to see how much you could potenetially be saving. You just need to ask.