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4 Ways to Cut Costs and Budget This Summer

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Summer can be an easy time to spend money. As the weather gets warmer we are influenced to buy new clothes, start new hobbies, pay for vacations and enjoy some nice food outside. It’s always important to enjoy yourself but in moderation. As the weather warms up, so should your bank account! Here are four ways to save money and or start a budget for this summer!

Vacation Planning:

Summertime is usually filled with the desire to go on vacation, whether that means flying or taking a local trip. Either way, it’s important you begin a budget for travel expenses and cost ahead of time. This allows you to allocate your salary or extra money to what you really want to do!

While planning your vacation, make sure you take into consideration all costs and budgeting for activities, excursions, food, souvenirs and more! Ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Where do we want to go?
  • What are the best times to visit this destination?
  • Are there any discounts or deals available for transportation?
  • What is the cost of fuel and tolls if driving?
  • What type of lodging do we prefer (hotel, Airbnb, hostel, camping)?
  • Are there any additional fees (resort fees, cleaning fees, etc.)?
  • Are there discounts for longer stays?
  • What is our daily food budget?
  • How many meals will we eat out versus cook ourselves?
  • Are there local markets or grocery stores where we can buy food?
  • What is the cost of dining at restaurants or cafes in the area?
  • What activities do we want to do?
  • How much do tickets or entry fees cost for attractions?
  • Are there any free or low-cost activities available?
  • Do we need to book any activities in advance?
  • Do we need travel insurance?
  • What does it cover (medical, trip cancellation, lost luggage)?
  • How much does travel insurance cost?

Summer Activities:

If a vacation isn’t in the financial plan for you, consider the summer activities you can be apart of throughout the summer that may set you back a little. These may include day trips, events, festivals, nature retreats, games, entertainment and more.

  • Allocating funds for local events and festivals.
  • Budgeting for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and beach trips.
  • Planning for summer sports and hobbies.

Energy Costs:

Summer time can bring up your electricity bill because of constant running air conditioning and heat. Consider finding ways to cut costs like the following:

  1. Optimize Air Conditioning Use:
    • Use Programmable Thermostats: Program your thermostat to raise the temperature when you’re not home and cool down just before you return.
    • Maintain Your AC: Clean or replace air filters regularly and ensure the system is serviced annually to run efficiently.
  2. Use Fans Strategically:
    • Ceiling Fans: Set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise to create a cooling breeze. Use fans to supplement your AC, allowing you to set the thermostat higher.
    • Portable Fans: Place fans in windows to create cross-ventilation and pull in cooler evening air.
  3. Block Out Heat:
    • Close Blinds and Curtains: Use blinds, shades, or curtains to block direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day.
    • Reflective Window Film: Apply reflective film to windows to reduce heat gain.
  4. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Appliances:
    • Energy Star Appliances: Use energy-efficient models for your AC, refrigerator, and other major appliances.
    • LED Lighting: Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs, which generate less heat and use less energy.

Emergency Fund:

Make sure to always have an emergency fund ready for any unforeseen circumstances. By being ready, you are able to offset potential costs or debt that you would have otherwise. Emergency funds can be for your trips, medical expenses, home repair and more.

Building a Safety Net: The Importance of an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is a critical component of financial wellness, acting as a safety net that protects you from unforeseen financial shocks. Whether it’s a sudden job loss, unexpected medical expenses, or urgent home repairs, having an emergency fund ensures you can handle life’s surprises without derailing your financial stability. Here’s a closer look at what an emergency fund is, what it covers, and how much you should aim to save.

What Is an Emergency Fund?

An emergency fund is essentially a financial buffer designed to cover unexpected expenses or to provide support in case of lost income. It’s money you set aside that is easily accessible and not tied up in investments or locked savings accounts. The primary purpose of an emergency fund is to provide you with immediate financial resources without having to resort to high-interest loans or credit cards, thereby safeguarding your long-term financial goals.

Summer Savings

Regardless of all the plans you may have this summer, plan to upkeep your finances, as they are the most important! Take the time to financially plan for vacations, activities and other financial responsibilities you may have with the season. Enjoy the warmth, the savings and the summer!

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