Summer is a time to relax and enjoy the warm weather. But with inflation heating up, it’s hard not to sweat rising prices, or fall off track financially. From increased utility bills to vacations and weddings, many expenses accompany the season of sun and fun.
But don’t worry; we’re here to help you avoid overspending this summer.
Here are some tips on saving money and planning for common summer expenses.
1. Tackle your utilities and regular expenses first
During the summer months, when utility bills are higher, the search for savings becomes more urgent.
Fortunately, you can do several things to reduce utility expenses without making significant lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat can help you save money by automatically adjusting the temperature in your home based on your schedule. By setting it to cool your home during the daytime when you’re away and at night when you’re asleep, you can use less energy overall and significantly reduce your utility bills.
Take advantage of natural ventilation
Open your windows and doors to let some fresh air in when the weather is nice. Not only will this save you money on your cooling costs, but it’s also good for your health.
Unplug unused electronics
Even when turned off, electronics can still use energy if they’re plugged in. So, unplug any electronics you’re not using to save money on your energy bill. No, we’re not talking about your fridge or oven but rather a fully charged laptop or cell phone.
2. Tackle travel expenses early
Travel is expensive this summer. Between soaring gas prices and revenge spending, the prices for everything from hotels to airline tickets reflect demand, resulting in higher costs.
Here are a few ways you can save money on your travel expenses this summer.
Hear me out; it pays to be flexible. Instead of traveling when prices are higher, plan your vacation during the off-season or shoulder season. You’ll be more likely to save on airfare, hotels, and other travel expenses. If you can be open to different travel dates, destinations, and activities, your money will go much further. This will help you find the best deals and save money.
If you know you want to take a trip, start planning and saving as early as possible. This will give you more time to research deals and find ways to save money.
Try public transportation
Car rentals are still more pricey than they were pre-Covid. If you can get around on a bike, on foot, or in public transportation, do it.
Look for discounts
There are many ways to get discounts on travel expenses. Look for coupons, promo codes, and special deals. You can also join loyalty programs to get discounts on future travel. We dive into all the ways to save in this in-depth list here.
Think outside the box
There are many unconventional ways to save money on travel. Consider couch surfing, house swapping, or taking a road trip instead of flying. These options can help you save money and have a unique experience.
This list will help you avoid going into debt or having to use credit cards.
3. If you’re going to a wedding
Wedding season is upon us! And if you’re like most people, you’re probably already dreading all the money you’ll have to spend on gifts, clothes, and all of the other wedding-related expenses guests shell out.
But don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to save money during wedding season, even if you’re a guest. Here are a few tips.
Again, hear me out. Not all weddings deserve your attendance. In the words of Kenneth, “I need you to understand that you DO NOT owe anyone your presence (or a present) at a single one of these coming events. You don’t owe anyone your time or money. (Unless, there’s like a contract).” Boundaries are healthy.
Use a gift registry
Most couples will have a gift registry set up, so take advantage of it! This way, you can ensure that the couple will actually like and use the gift you give them.
Borrow or rent clothes
Don’t spend a fortune on a new outfit for the wedding. See if you can borrow something from a friend or rent an outfit instead.
4. Keep an eye on your spending this summer
Summer is the perfect time to get mindful about where your money is going. Mindless spending is an easy trap to fall into, especially when you don’t take the time to track your expenses.
From swimming lessons to summer camp, plenty of activities keep kids busy during the summer months. To save money, try to find free or low-cost activities in your area. You can also look for deals on Groupon or other daily deal websites.
Do you need some tips on saving money on food in the summer? We’ve got you.
Track your spending. Knowing where your money goes is the first step to saving money. Keep track of what you spend on food for a week or two, and then look for ways to cut back.
Plan ahead. Meal planning can help you save money on food. Decide what you will make for each meal, and then make a shopping list of the ingredients you need.
Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk can save you money on food. Look for sales and coupons, and then stock up on items when they’re cheap.
Cook at home. Eating out is expensive, so cooking at home can help you save money. Try to cook simple meals that don’t require a lot of ingredients or time.
Eat leftovers. Don’t let food go to waste! Eat leftovers for lunch or dinner, or freeze them for another time.
Bring your own snacks. If you’re going to be out all day, bring snacks with you to avoid buying expensive convenience store food.
Grow your own food. If you have space, consider growing your own fruits and vegetables. This can save you money in the long run, and you’ll get to enjoy fresh, homegrown produce.
Barter or trade. If you have skills or talents others need, see if you can trade them for food. For example, you could offer to babysit in exchange for dinner.
Shop at the farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets are a great place to find fresh, local produce at a fraction of the cost of grocery store prices.
Join a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to get fresh, local produce at a discounted price. You can usually find CSAs at farmer’s markets or online.
Summer weather means shorts, tank tops, and swimsuits. If you don’t have a lot of summer clothes, you may need to go shopping. This can add up quickly. To save money, try to shop at second-hand stores or look for deals online. You can also wait to buy summer clothes until the end of the season when they’re on sale.
Saving money doesn’t have to be complicated or tedious. By following these tips, you can enjoy your summer while staying on track with your finances. So, what are you waiting for? Start saving today!