Most people want to have fun during the summer. School’s out, the days are warmer and brighter, and there’s an unavoidable sense of adventure in the air all season long. While there’s plenty you can do without spending a dime, for many having fun costs money. There are a number of quick tips you can follow to increase your summertime savings, which puts more money in your pocket to really enjoy this summer to its fullest.
1. Enjoy a staycation
When summer rolls around, a lot of people want to head off to the beach or another of their favorite places—but traveling, finding a hotel, and paying for daily food and activities can rack up quite a large bill. That holds especially true for families. And if you’re planning a longer vacation, well, you can expect to pay a lot more. Staying home can be just as fun because even on a staycation you can get out and enjoy the summer. Look at local parks and swimming pools (or lakes if you’re out in the country).
You’ll save plenty by cutting down traveling costs and eating out less. When you’re at home on a staycation, you and your family can cook meals together and take them out for an afternoon picnic—or better yet, you could throw a themed outdoor BBQ! Staying home doesn’t have to mean staying cooped up inside all day. It just means staying local and close to home.
2. Carpool to work
The summer is often a time when people are re-evaluating their energy use and consumption, and that conscientiousness extends to driving, too. You could consider carpooling or using public transportation during the summer. You would save on gas and the stress of having to navigate summer traffic in the sweltering heat. If you can’t avoid driving, it pays to shop around for the best gas prices. Telecommuting may also be an option depending on your employer. You could work from home and reduce time spent on your commute, and enjoy a bit of extra time with your family in between work tasks.
There are also plenty of apps and services that promote ridesharing and carpooling, so it shouldn’t be hard to find the ride right for you.
3. Rethink your air conditioning
Air conditioners blasting in neighboring windows is a sure sign that summer is here. Unsurprisingly, most of the energy we use during the summer can be traced back to the excessive and inefficient use of air conditioners. Floor and ceiling fans can be just as refreshing on a hot summer day, and they consume far less power if you want to lower your energy bill. Enjoying the AC doesn’t have to drain your wallet, however. Simply by turning your air conditioner up a degree or two could make a significant impact on energy spending. So would using a programmable thermostat or turning the AC off during certain times of the day.
4. Crack down on your electricity use
Opening a few windows and shutting off the lights on a warm, sunny summer day can help you trim some of the fat from your energy budget. Evening turning to the grill instead of your indoor kitchen can reduce appliance usage and save you a couple of bucks. Summer is the time to be outside and get active, so shut off the television and go for a walk, or take your favorite magazine or book outside and start reading!
If you have the outdoor space for it, you could also consider letting your clothes air dry and giving your dryer a break. Just imagine how much you’d save on a summer without running that bulky appliance.
5. Look into locally sourced and seasonal foods
When it comes to grocery shopping you can check out the local farmers market and pick up seasonal fruits and vegetables. These food items are going to cost less than those that are out of season. Should less expensive good prove any kind of incentive for cutting food costs, you could start your own little herb and vegetable garden. It’ll get you outside and invested in eating healthy, and of course save you a ton at the grocery store if you’re picking most of your produce up in your backyard instead.
6. Turn down the water heater for cool summertime savings
According to energy.gov, the average household spends $400-600 on water heating costs per year. If you had your water heater’s temperature turned up during the winter, make sure you lower it as the days warm up. Even lowering your hot water use can contribute to lower spending, like when doing laundry. In most cases, clothes can be washed in cold water, which can definitely help you save on your energy bill this summer.
Whatever you do this summer, saving money on bills and cutting out some of the unnecessary spending in your life—even for two or three months—can yield impressive results. You may even come out on the other side of summer with some yearlong savings habits to keep your wallet full and your impact on the environment minimal.