Summer is a time to relax and enjoy the warm weather. But with inflation heating up, it’s hard not to sweat rising prices. From increased utility bills to vacations and weddings, there are a lot of expenses that comes with 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 how to save money and plan for common summer expenses:
1. Tackle your utilities and regular expenses first
During the summer months, when utility bills tend to be higher, that search for savings become more urgent.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to cut down on your utility expenses without making any major 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 see a significant reduction in your utility bills.
Take advantage of natural ventilation: When the weather is nice, open up your windows and doors to let in some fresh air. Not only will this save you money on your cooling costs, but it’s also good for your health.
Unplug unused electronics: Even when they’re turned off, electronics can still use energy if they’re plugged in. So, if you have any electronics that you’re not using, unplug them to save money on your energy bill. (No, we’re not talking your fridge and oven. Think you’re a fully charged laptop or cell phone.
(For more tips, check out this complete list.)
2. Tackle travel expenses early
Travel is expensive this summer. Between soaring gas prices and more people revenge spending, the prices for everything from hotels to airline tickets reflect the demand: high and pricey.
Here are a few ways you can save money on your travel expenses this summer:
-Skip it. 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. This can help you save money on airfare, hotels, and other travel expenses. If you can be open to different travel dates, destinations, and activities, your money will go a lot further. This will help you find the best deals and save money.
-Plan ahead: 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 Couchsurfing, house swapping, or taking a road trip instead of flying. These options can help you save money and have a more unique experience.
This 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:
-RSVP “No.” 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 be sure 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, there are plenty of activities to 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.
1. 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.
2. Plan ahead. Meal planning can help you save money on food. Decide what you’re going to make for each meal, and then make a shopping list of the ingredients you need.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5.Eat leftovers. Don’t let food go to waste! Eat leftovers for lunch or dinner, or freeze them for another time.
6.Bring your own snacks. If you’re going to be out all day, bring snacks with you to avoid buying expensive convenience store food.
7. 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.
8. barter or trade. If you have skills or talents that others need, see if you can trade for food. For example, you could offer to babysit in exchange for dinner.
9. 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.
10. 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 which 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 difficult or boring. By following these tips, you can enjoy your summer while still staying on track with your finances. So, what are you waiting for? Start saving today!