The sun is out, the kids are out of school and the temperatures are rising. Summer is here and there are dozens of pitfalls waiting to empty your wallet. With a little planning and creativity, you can save money this summer and still get the best that our warm season has to offer.
It’s been a long day of work and the kids are tired. It’s hot outside and temperatures are even hotter inside. The trap is set. Nobody feels like cooking and yet everyone is hungry. Instead of getting caught in the “let’s just go out” trap, plan ahead. A package of hot dogs or hamburgers with matching buns can make a quick outdoor meal. Set up the sprinkler and let the kids run off their energy while you cook. Add carrot-sticks and chips and a picnic blanket. Dinner is ready and your wallet has been rescued.
Everyone deserves a summer vacation, right? You’ve worked hard and everyone wants a break. The trap is set. The “we deserve a big vacation” trap that usually entices more greenbacks from your wallet than you ever planned. You are right. You do work hard, and you do deserve a break. Just because funds are tight doesn’t mean that you have to right off your vacation plans just yet. You can vacation closer to home, planning picnic type meals to avoid eating out and pre-book your nights at budget motels- preferably with pools. Plan your days for local activities and your evenings for pool time.
Another option is a staycation. Stay at home, but set up the tent and camp in the back yard or visit the local state park, lake or beach. You can plan activities that are different from your normal outings and plan a special treat for each day. This can save in meals and lodging if planned and that amount can be saved, or spent on outings or take-out to relieve the stress of meals.
The summer is also a wonderful time to utilize the natural resources around you to lower your energy bills. Put up a clothes line to save on electricity and/or gas. Open your windows on cool nights to naturally cool down your home, and keep your thermostat set warmer during the day when you’re not home. Plant a small garden to save on produce at the supermarket.
The possibilities for saving money this summer are endless. With a little creativity and planning you can make your pennies go a long way.
This article was originally written and published for Helium.com. Click here to see my other articles.