Saving Money / Savings Tips
Prices are rising everywhere, just as summer — and the extra expense it often brings — arrives. How can you save money this summer, so you can spend it on really important things, like going to the beach? Here are some summer savings strategies.
make a budget
This should always be your number one savings strategy. Make a budget for your summer expenses and stick to it.
- Look at what you spend now and what you spent last summer.
- Look at where you can cut, whether on summer-specific expenses or year-round costs. Cancel any subscriptions you are not using. See if you can find a cheaper vacation rental this year than last year.
- Write it all down and review it weekly. All the planning in the world won’t help you save if you don’t hold yourself accountable. For example, if your budget for a restaurant is $200 and you spend $300 this month, you’ll need to keep it at $100 next month.
Save on your vacation
Summer vacation is a great way to relieve stress, but that stress can pile up again when the bills roll in. Here are some ways to reduce the cost of your vacation.
- Choose a destination closer to home. If you can drive instead of fly, you’ll generally save money, especially for families. You only need one car, which can make it much cheaper than four or five plane tickets.
- If you’re flying, check the apps to determine the best time to travel. Mid-week flights, or those with a layover or two, can often save you money.
- Opt for a shorter period. If you usually go for two weeks, go for one. If a week is your norm, maybe make it a long weekend.
- Look for cheaper accommodations. Instead of an expensive hotel, look for an Airbnb or Vrbo, especially if you’re going on vacation with a group.
- Prepare some of your meals yourself instead of eating out. Another benefit of renting a condo or house instead of staying in a hotel — you’ll have a kitchen available to you.
- Look for free and inexpensive activities. Parks, beaches, and hiking trails are often hidden gems in popular vacation destinations.
Be aware of how much you drive
Gas prices typically rise in the summer, and that’s more true this summer than ever. We tend to take driving for granted, but you can realize real savings just by paying attention. If you have several stops to make, do them all in one trip. And there’s never any reason to make a separate trip to refuel – wait to drive out anyway.
Watch for summer sales
Seasonal sales are happening earlier and earlier, so you can often find discounted summer items as early as June. The longer you wait, the bigger the discounts, if you don’t mind having a more limited selection to choose from. Remember that the shorts you buy in August can also be worn next year.
Some states offer a weekend toward the end of the summer when they suspend state sales tax. Deferring purchases until your state’s sales tax exemption can save you several percent, which can be significant if your purchase is large. Appliances, furniture, and other big-ticket household items can be a bargain, and some stores are shoving even more discounts this weekend to try to earn your business.
Save on groceries
Summer is the season for fresh produce, so take advantage of it! If you can buy local produce at a farmer’s market or directly from the farm, even better. A Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, subscription program can keep you in delicious, local, and affordable produce all summer long.
Pause this gym membership
Summer weather in many parts of the country means you can train outdoors. If this applies to you, see if you can pause or cancel your gym membership and run, walk or swim outdoors instead. When cooler days and earlier sunsets make outdoor workouts less feasible, you can always get back to the gym.
Join your like-minded friends and neighbors
Everyone is trying to save a little these days, so don’t be afraid to approach your friends and neighbors with money saving ideas. Host a potluck instead of going to an expensive restaurant with friends. Disable babysitting duties with neighbors so every couple can have a date without having to pay for a babysitter.
Earn extra money
Saving money won’t get you far. If you need more money to fulfill your summer plans, think about ways to build up an extra bank. A side gig, like carpooling, babysitting, or an errand service, can help. You can also hold a yard sale or consign clothes you no longer wear – the added bonus here is that you’re decluttering at the same time.
Information is accurate as of May 24, 2022.