Slash Summer Spending with These Easy Tips
Summer can be an expensive time of year for any household. The kids aren’t in school and the temperatures are scorching, which equals higher out of pocket expenses. Summer camp, air conditioning, increased food bills, and even high energy costs can be enough to ruin anyone’s budget. While some of these summer costs are unavoidable, there are things you can do to try and minimize the dent it will put in your budget. Check out these suggestions below:
1. Service Your Air Conditioner
You might assume that having an HVAC contractor service your air conditioning system on a periodic basis would be costly, but it can actually save you a lot of money. An air conditioning service contract can help to prolong the life of your system. Simple service measures like cleaning out the filters will allow the unit to run more efficiently. Also, taking care of small maintenance or repair problems before they get out of hand will prevent you from having to make a huge purchase on a new system.
2. Use the Crockpot and Grill
Indoor cooking can quickly add heat to your home, causing the need to crank up the AC. If you want to avoid this, you can get creative with your cooking by preparing meals in the crockpot or on the grill. This will keep the home from getting too warm, and can also save you a boatload on your utilities for the summer.
3. Check Your Community for Summer Camps
If you want to get your children into a summer camp, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg. There are plenty of community sponsored summer programs for children of all ages. Check with your local community before the close of school to find out what the eligibility requirements are. Many of the programs are free or at the very least income-based, which can help you save more money.
4. Alter Clothes
If your children have outgrown their summer attire from last year, you don’t have to go out and purchase them an entirely new wardrobe. Using some of the clothes from this past school year that are a bit too short? You can alter them to make the perfect summer clothes. Tattered jeans can quickly become a pair of shorts or capris while shirts can be cut into tank tops, or short sleeve tees.
5. Be Strategic with Family Vacations
Summer signifies family fun and vacations, but that doesn’t mean you have to shell out thousands of dollars to enjoy your child’s company. Instead, a bit of strategic planning can work wonders. For instance, try planning a vacation in an area where you have family members. This way you can ask to stay at their home instead of paying for a hotel. Other options would include finding local attractions as it’s always cheaper when traveling nearby.
6. Air Dry Your Clothes
Whether you go to the laundromat or use your home clothes dryer, it can get costly. Since the summer is usually filled with sunny skies and clear weather, you can hang your clothes outside to dry. Washing your clothes with a good smelling fabric softener will ensure that they smell good and feel soft once you take them off the line.
7. Take a Lunch
Summer time is the perfect time of year to bring out the brown lunch bags for work. Sandwiches, salads, and other no-cook meals are great for the summer. This is a neat way to avoid spending money daily for lunch or having to cook.
Don’t let summer ruin your family budget. There are ways that you can enjoy the season without having to cough up more cash than you can afford. Each of these tips are easy to implement but will have a huge impact on your summer savings. If you keep at it over the next few months, you’re sure to save a great deal of cash for the back to school season – which of course is another budget-buster to discuss another day.
Becky Wilcox is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about beauty, fashion, technology and more. She writes for Life with Lisa as well as several other blogs and websites. Check back soon for more from Becky.