Summer is upon us, and there is a good chance your spending is going to pick up. Many of us end up spending more money during the summer months because there are extra activities for the kids, vacations, and the fact that energy costs rise with the temperature.
If you want to get through the summer without breaking the bank, consider employing the following 5 quick savings strategies.
1. Start with Community Activities
Don’t immediately assume you need to send your kids to summer camp to keep them busy. Start by looking for low-cost — or even free! — community activities. Many libraries offer story time and other activities.
Check with your city’s parks and recreation department for information on activities and low-cost community classes for kids. You might be surprised to discover you can keep your kids busy without breaking the bank.
2. Perform an Energy Audit
Don’t let energy leaks drain your budget this summer. An energy audit can help you identify weak points in your home’s energy use. The Department of Energy offers a guide that you can use to perform a DIY energy audit. It’s also possible to pay a professional to provide an audit.
No matter how you do it, go through an energy audit and then take steps to make your home more efficient. You’ll save on cooling costs this summer.
3. Opt for a Staycation
Rather than spending a couple thousand dollars on a vacation, enjoy a staycation with your family. You might be surprised at what’s available in your local area.
Check out the tourist attractions you haven’t visited because you’re local. Go camping. Go to a town three hours away and stay in a cheap hotel with a pool. Set up a couple of fun nights throughout the summer where you stay up late star-gazing, have a picnic (with a movie) in your front room or engage in other activities that are out of the ordinary.
4. Look for Kids Programs
There are a number of kids programs that are inexpensive. Many movie theaters still offer summer matinees for kids, costing $1 or $2, with cheap concessions to boot.
You can also look for bowling alleys that participate in “kids bowl free” promotions. From restaurants that offer free meals for kids, to discounts on local amusements parks, there are usually programs that offer low-cost entertainment and fun.
5. Get Creative With Gift Giving
One of the reasons that summer can be so expensive is due to all of the special events. You’re often expected to travel to weddings and graduations. These events also require gifts. Baby showers are also common during the summer months.
Get creative about the gifts you give. If it makes sense with your talents and abilities, consider homemade gifts. You can also go online and look for discounted gift cards. This can provide you a way to give a gift that isn’t as costly.
Look ahead to what you expect to spend this summer, and then look for ways to trim your costs. With a little creativity, you should be able to get through the summer with your budget intact.
What are some other quick and easy ways to save money this summer? Share your best tip in the comments!