Summer is officially here, and while we always see it coming, the shift from spring to summer never ceases to surprise us. Everything from rising temperatures to families’ schedules changes in the blink of an eye. While we all cannot wait for summer to arrive, all those costs associated with summer vacations, outdoor BBQ, and entertaining the kids add up quickly.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed financially. Thankfully, we have some helpful tips that could save you money this summer.
Create A Summer Budget
The very first step in saving money this summer is to create a budget and stick to it. We know what you’re thinking; “here goes the fun.” However, budgeting for the summer will allow you to track your spending and eliminate unnecessary expenses while still leaving some room for fun!
Think about it. Do you really need to have Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu? Or, with your busy schedule, do you really have time to hit the gym (considering most of us have only gone twice since the start of the year)? If you take a long, hard look at your expenses, you can find things to cut that will help supplement those big summer plans you have/want!
Now, creating a budget might sound complicated at first, but we promise it’s anything but.
Here are five easy steps you can take to create your summer budget and save money:
- Calculate your net income.
- List all your fixed expenses and variable expenses, including all the things you would ideally like to do with your family this summer.
- Work out how much you can afford to spend.
- Adjust your variable expenses accordingly.
- Review your budget regularly.
While we would love to pretend that cutting expenses is easy, let’s be honest, it’s harder than ever. Inflation has us paying more on just about all of our necessities, so it will take some creativity to find some ways to save.
Use Cashback Apps to Shop
If you aren’t using Cashback apps, you’re seriously missing out on one of the best ways to save money. And not just during the summer! Cashback apps provide rebates on anything you shop for through the apps or earn you points every time you shop, which you can then redeem for gift cards.
Some of the best cashback apps to use this summer include:
It will take time to build up these points to redeem, but a lot of big companies are part of these apps. For example, a few thousand points on Fetch Rewards can get you discounts at fast-food restaurants, car shops, and even Amazon. All you have to do is scan your receipts from the grocery store or other store purchases. You even get extra points if you buy certain items. It takes discipline to scan your receipts, but it’s worth it when a $25 gift card pops up!
Save On Gas
We know. We know! The cost of gasoline is infuriating right now. It’s downright ridiculous, but it’s a necessity.
Here are a few things you can do to save on gas money this summer:
- Use apps like Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas station near you.
- Avoid heavy acceleration and maintain a steady speed using cruise control when possible.
- Fill up the tank at the beginning of the week as prices tend to go up towards the weekend.
- Check your tire pressure as under-inflated tires can cause your car to burn fuel faster.
- Use GetUpside to find gas stations offering cashback and discounts.
Reduce Your Energy Bill
When the mercury rises, you might have no choice but to crank up the air-conditioner… especially if you live in a region prone to heat waves. Having the kids home from school makes things even more expensive as you work to keep the house as cool as possible for everyone who is home.
What if we told you there’s a way to keep your home cool while saving on your giant power bill?
Sound too good to be true?
Here are a few easy tips to save money on your energy bill this summer:
- Draw your blinds or curtains: while living in a bright space and having some light coming in on a summer day can feel lovely, this is exactly how your rooms warm up. So, make sure to draw your blinds or curtains during the hottest hours of the day to prevent cool air from escaping and heat from seeping in.
- Use a programmable thermostat: most people don’t realize how much can be saved by installing and programming their thermostat. You will automatically be able to set the thermostat to a certain temperature when you leave for work, go out of town, or even go to sleep at night. Experts say that can lead to a 5 to 15 percent reduction in energy use, which means savings in your pocketbook!
- Turn up the temperature: it is tempting to turn the temperature down to 69 or 70 °F when it’s over 85 °F out there, but the bigger the difference between the outside and inside temperature, the harder your air conditioner unit will have to work to keep your entire home cool. And this means a higher energy bill. According to the Department of Energy, 78°F is the ideal balance between comfort and energy savings.
- Run Appliances at Night: yes, it might be inconvenient to not finish your laundry in the middle of the day but running major appliances at night is an energy saver. So, next time you need to run the dishwasher or throw a load of clothes in the washing machine, wait until the sun goes down! The cooler the temperature is, the less your appliances must work to get the job done!
- Replace your Air Filter: Replacing your air filter is one of the easiest things you can do to make sure that your A/C runs smoothly, and it’s a step that is often overlooked for far too long. Dirty filters can block normal airflow and reduce your unit’s ability to absorb heat. Plus, a dirty filter adds to allergens in the air. So, replace those filters as soon as you can a keep replacing them every few months.
Times are challenging right now, but don’t let your summer fun escape! Just follow a few of these steps to ensure you take advantage of the joys of summer while not breaking the bank. As the saying goes, “it’s the simplest things in life that are the most extraordinary,” so keep it simple and enjoy this precious time together.
High-interest loans can be expensive and should be used for short-term financial needs only, not as long-term solutions. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling. Cash Factory USA does not provide financial advice. Visit cashfactoryusa.com for rates and terms.
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