Summer expenses can quickly add up. Family vacations, activities for kids, and new summer clothes to name a few. With some simple hacks you can save money throughout the summer to make those extra summer expenses more manageable.
Leave the car at home – Put on some sunscreen and walk or bike to the store, library and park. The Vitamin D will boost your mood and the money saved will boost your wallet. Walking to the store will also encourage you to stick to your shopping list rather than loading up the cart with unintended items you’ll have to carry home.
Take advantage of free activities – Enjoy the extra daylight during the summer. Cancel your gym membership and take your workouts outdoors. Eliminate the cable bill by going to movie nights the city has to offer.
Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables – Buying fruits and vegetables when they are in season locally is generally cheaper. This summer look for apples, cantaloupe, lettuce, peppers, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, and of course our Iowa staple, corn. The Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market is now accepting SNAP benefits. Click here for more information about how to use SNAP at the market.
Eat Out(side) – When you’re trying to save money, you quickly see how restaurant expenses add up. Still enjoy great food and time with family or friends by taking a picnic to the park or hosting a barbeque potluck in your backyard. You’ll enjoy a great meal, fresh air and reconnecting with your family and friends.
Plan a “Stay”cation – If you promised the kids a summer trip but you don’t think you can afford traveling cross country this year, make a list of the activities around town you’ve always wanted to try but never found the time. Choose a couple days to check off as many items from the list as you can. Rather than spending money on transportation and eating out, which will quickly be forgotten, you’ll build memories that will last a lifetime.
Create a financial plan for the summer and beyond – Take control over your money instead of letting it control you. Decide ahead of time how much you’ll spend on your staycation, summer clothes, kids camps, etc. and stick to your plan. Now is also a good time to think ahead to upcoming purchases like back-to-school expenses and Christmas presents. If it’s too daunting to think ahead, start a 52-week savings plan. Save $1 today, $2 next week, $3 the week after and so on until this time next year you’re saving $52 a week. You’ll have saved $1,378 to help with expected expenses like Christmas and unexpected expenses like an emergency room visit.
What other summer saving tips have you used before? We’d love to hear your ideas! Email them here!