Most might not expect it, but summer is actually a great time to save money. Whether that be on your electric bill. Here are some tips to help you save money during those warm months of summer.
Save your energy
First, turn off the air conditioning when not needed. Yes, I know it gets hot and it might take some time to get your house cooled back off. But you can maximize efficiency and save money by using the AC only when needed. By setting the temperature and timing of your thermostat properly, you won’t even notice the house warmed up while you’re gone. Second, try cooking outside more often. Using the stove or baking in the oven can create a lot of excess heat that will make your home warmer and cause your AC to work harder. Instead, try grilling outside or making cold meals like salads. Third, let your laundry dry outside. This will save you money on your electric bill while giving your clothes a fresh scent. Fourth, take advantage of extended evenings. With longer daylight hours, you can spend more time outside and reduce your electricity usage. Another thing to make sure you do regularly is replace your air conditioner filters. Dirty filters can cause your AC to work harder and use more energy. Finally, plan for future home and garden projects. By planning, you can take advantage of sales and discounts on items you need for your home or garden. Using these tips can provide you and your family with a larger budget for those fun summer activities y’all want to do.
Budget, but don't forget the fun
Speaking of summer budgets and maximizing your summer fun. We’ve got some summer budgeting tips for you as well. First, set limits in advance. Sit down and revisit the budget your family created in January or use this time to create a budget for the first time. Look at your cash flow and make intentional decisions about where you want to spend and where you may want to cut back. Use cash instead of credit cards. Using cash can help you stay within your budget and avoid overspending. Next, be smart about scheduling. Plan your activities around free events and activities in your area. Whether you’re looking for something that families can enjoy or childless fun, most cities have parks, events, and activities that anyone can enjoy during the summer for free. Another option is to use coupons and discounts. Look for coupons and discounts on everything from groceries to entertainment. Even small discounts add up and can create more of a cushion in your budget that originally you probably didn’t plan for, giving you even more options for fun in the sun. Shopping smart and buying items when they are on sale or clearance, like end-of-summer sales, can even help you be more prepared and increase your budget for summer this year or the next. Pro-tip, try to cook at home more. Cooking at home is a great way to save money on food costs. For example, say you go out to eat with your family of four and you all want burgers with fries and a drink, which is generally one of the cheaper menu items at restaurants. With food costs nowadays, one of those four burger meals can cost you anywhere from $10 to $20, depending on the restaurant and if you’re paying for your kids to eat a kid’s meal or an adult meal. That trip out to eat with your family can run you anywhere from $40 up to $80. At the grocery store, you can feasibly buy all the ingredients you need to make those four burgers with fries for under $30, saving you $10 to $50. There's always the valued option of budgeting for a vacation as well, and saving money like that by cooking at home as opposed to going out to eat consistently can easily add to that budget.
Vacationing on a budget
If you’re planning a summer vacation, there are many ways to save money while still having a great time. Traveling can be expensive, but there are many ways to save money while on vacation. You can use a travel rewards credit card, like the one we’re offering here at MCT, to earn a great low rate on hotel, airline, gas, and rental car purchases. When traveling abroad, If you're using a credit card, make sure that it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. One big way to save money is to travel during the off-season when flights and hotels are noticeably cheaper. Airlines and Hotels know when peak season is, so they will gladly charge more during that time, so take advantage of non-peak times of summer to save on your trip. This also can help you enjoy more fun by having to deal with less of a crowd wherever you decide to travel. Booking your trip well in advance can also help you save even more money on those flights and hotels. Staying in a vacation rental may be a better option than staying in a hotel, especially if you’re traveling with a group. Not only do you get to split the cost. But each separate room’s nightly cost at a hotel could cost just as much as the single price of the Air BnB, or whatever type of vacation rental is chosen.
When going on vacation it is always good to give yourself a daily budget. By budgeting your days, you can ensure that you don’t overspend on the first or second day, potentially spoiling one of your last days on vacation. Cooking your own meals can help you save money on food because most vacation destination restaurant food pricing can be high. Just like cooking at home can be cheaper and easier on your budget, it can help your vacation budget, even more, to keep eating out during your vacation limited. Also, try taking advantage of free activities to help you save money on your vacation entertainment. If you’re traveling abroad, knowing a few words or phrases in the local language can also help you save money on transportation, food, and other expenses. Tourist attractions will always charge more because they know the people visiting are willing to pay those prices to enjoy their vacation. By being able to communicate with locals, you can find those cheaper hidden gems that aren’t flooded with tourists regularly. Finally, consider visiting lesser-known destinations that are just as beautiful and interesting as popular tourist destinations but less expensive.
Now go enjoy your summer and save money!
Saving energy costs and budgeting can help you save money for your family or even a summer vacation. By reducing your energy consumption, you can lower your monthly bills and increase your budget. When it comes to budgeting for a summer vacation, setting a budget and planning ahead among other things can help you improve your vacation experience. By following these tips, you can enjoy a fun and affordable summer vacation while also saving money and reducing your environmental impact.