14 Tips to Help You Save All Summer Long

Between vacations and outdoor entertainment, summer can be an expensive season. These steps can help you save so you’ll have more cash to put towards your goals!

Summer vacations, drinks outside at restaurants, outdoor concerts, summer camps… the list of summer expenses goes on and on. Summer isn’t an inexpensive time of year for many reasons, and as a result, your wallet may be hurting more than normal during the warmer months.

Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce your spending during the summer. From making your home more energy-efficient and cutting down on electricity bills to finding creative ways to pocket some extra cash, each of these tips will help you save.

Change up Your Air Conditioner Temperature

Once the temperature outside starts to rise, sky-high air conditioning bills can create financial hardships for you and your family. Recently, the cost of electricity has increased in many regions, meaning that this summer your energy bills could be even higher than last year’s. 

A smart thermostat can help you regulate the temperature of your home so that when you’re not there, the temperature is warmer. Once you’re ready to come home, the air conditioner kicks into gear and starts cooling down your house. You can also always manually change the temperature as you leave the house and return, too.

The main takeaway? Don’t adopt a “set it and forget it” attitude when it comes to your air conditioner during the summer. Adjust it for when you won’t be at home and make sure you also increase the temperature when you’re sleeping!

Change Your Air Conditioner Filter

Man holding up dirty air conditioner filter

Speaking of your air conditioner, remember to change out the filter. According to The Balance, “Dirty filters restrict the airflow and the efficiency of the air conditioner, which translates into more run time and higher cooling costs. Filters are cheap, so replace them regularly.”

Replacing your air filter is one easy home maintenance task you can do to make your home more energy-efficient. While you’re at it, consider caulking around your windows and doors. This prevents the cool air that you’re paying for from leaking outside. 

If there are gaps around your windows and doors, your air conditioner is working harder than it needs to in order to cool down your house. As a result, you’re spending more than you need to on your energy bills!

Put Money in Your Pocket With a Garage Sale

A garage sale is a great way to make some extra cash, and summer is an especially good time to hold a garage sale because people who have extra free time in the summer won’t mind hopping out of the car to take a look at what you have to offer. 

Advertise your garage sale in as many places as you can so that your chances are higher of getting more customers. If your neighborhood association has a designated garage sale weekend, make sure you plan yours for that weekend. You’re more likely to get customers if there are garage sales happening all over your neighborhood!

Air Dry Your Laundry

In the warm summer months, there’s no excuse not to hang your laundry outside to air dry in the sun. It may take a little more time and effort to hang up your clothing rather than to switch it over from the washer to the dryer, but when that time and effort puts money back into your pocket on your electricity bill, why wouldn’t you do it? 

As an added bonus, air-drying is less hard on your clothes, meaning you’ll extend their life – so it’ll be longer before you have to buy new clothes.

Visit State Parks Instead of Theme Parks

Father and son standing on cliff on hike

Theme parks are notoriously expensive. From the price of admission to the price of water, everything costs more at an amusement park. The prices of food and souvenirs quickly add up at places like Disney World, Six Flags, and Worlds of Fun.

Instead of spending a small fortune at an amusement park, put on your hiking boots and head to the nearest state park with your family. Pack a picnic and enjoy the beauty of nature that’s protected by the law. If you haven’t hiked in a while, you’ll be surprised by how much you can see and experience in a state park!

Cook Outside

Keep your home cooler by cooking outside. If you use the oven or stovetop indoors in the summer, it could send the temperature of the kitchen skyrocketing – and cause your air conditioner to work harder than ever. 

Instead, if you cook outside you’ll be helping lower your air conditioning bill low by keeping the heat outdoors. Grill on your back patio instead of sweltering over your stove. The savings will speak for themselves!

Read More: Take These 12 Small Steps To Improve Your Finances

Use Your Appliances at Night

Your appliances can put out a lot of heat. Think about how hot your dishwasher gets if you use the heat dry setting! You may be able to turn off the heat dry setting on your dishwasher. But if you need to use it, use it at night when it’s cool. That way any heat your dishwasher produces won’t heat up your home as much as it would during an already-hot day.

For the same reason, if you can’t air-dry your clothes outside and you have to use the heat setting on your clothes dryer, make sure you only use it at night. It will keep your home cooler and your air conditioner happy.

Choose a Staycation

Mom pointing at exhibit in museum to son

You don’t have to travel out of state to go on a summer vacation. A staycation is a great way to get a break from your normal routine without spending more than you can actually afford. Book an Airbnb or a hotel room and then use your own vehicle to get around town instead of paying to rent a rental car. If you don’t want to book an Airbnb or a hotel room, stay with a relative or at home to save.

On your staycation, check out all the sites in your area that you don’t normally have time to visit. Go to local museums you haven’t visited yet (and if they offer free admission on a certain day of the week, make sure you plan to go that day!). Spend time at parks that you haven’t been to, and drive to destinations in your area that you just haven’t made it to yet. You’ll be surprised but everything your area has to offer!

Block Out the Sun

On days when the sun is baking the inside of your home, make sure you do what you can to block out its powerful rays. Close your blinds and curtains to keep the sun from entering in and heating up your home.

If you live in an area with an extremely sunny climate, you may want to invest in blackout curtains, which are more efficient at keeping the sun out of your home.

Pause Your Gym Membership

Young couple running in a park

Working out indoors may be necessary during the cold winter months, but once the weather’s warmer you may want to pause or even cancel your gym membership. Gym fees add up and if you can do without them, you should!

Running outdoors in your neighborhood or at a local track is a great way to get your cardio in without paying expensive gym fees. YouTube offers tons of workout videos that you can do at home. 

Wait until the sun is going down and the temperature is dropping, and then head to your backyard for a workout. That recurring gym membership fee adds up more than you realize, so make sure you cancel it as soon as you can.

Be Smart About Your Errands

Sometimes it may feel like you have a different errand to run every day of the week. Combine your errands and do them all in one day if you can. Unless your errands are all in totally different directions, the chances are good that combining your errands will help you save on gas costs.

Cancel a Streaming Service

Man on laptop cancelling sucbscription

There’s probably one streaming service, like Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, or Disney Plus that you’re paying for but you’re not actually using all that much. It happens to a lot of people. They sign up for a free trial so they can watch one specific show, give their credit card information to the streaming company, and then forget to cancel the subscription before the company charges their credit card.

Even if you use all of your streaming services regularly, it’s likely that there’s one service you use less than the others. Cancel that subscription service and watch your savings add up over the year.

Visit the Library

Entertainment is free at the library where you can not only borrow books but can check out movies and CDs as well. Plus, during the summer months, libraries often offer a variety of programs related to a summer reading theme. 

Take advantage of your local library and the free entertainment it offers. You might be surprised by what you can find!

Thrift Instead of Buying New

If the nicer weather makes you want to head to the garage to work on DIY projects, don’t head to the crafts store just yet! Instead of buying items brand-new from a big box store, check out your local thrift store.

Your wallet will thank you for thrifting instead of buying new – and so will the environment!

Read More: Make 2022 Your Best Financial Year Yet With These 5 Tips

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