Every summer, we always get excited thinking about all of the things we plan on doing. Whether it’s a road trip to visit family in another state or a trip to Disney World, or even just a camping trip in the backyard, there are always a ton of great ideas for summertime fun. For all the fun that summer brings, it also brings increased cost of living opportunities as well, and it can be easy to fall into the trap of bad financial planning. Here are a couple tips to break the cycle this summer!
- Plan Ahead. One of the best things you can do, in general, is to put money in savings. This is a great idea, not just for summer fun but for your lifestyle, period. Putting money aside to help cover increased power bills, higher fuel costs and travel can take you even further than you thought when it comes to summer adventures. Speaking of increased fuel costs….
- Reduce Your Cooling Costs. Crisp, cool air conditioning is one of the greatest things to happen to summer since the invention of ice cream, but it does not come cheap. Monthly power bills tend to rise dramatically in summer months due to blazing temperatures and the quest for personal comfort. Installing an inexpensive, programmable thermostat can cut your power bill significantly.
- Less Driving = More Money. Take advantage of the beautiful summer weather and ride a bike to the corner store. Or if you have a co-worker who lives close to you, carpool to work and you’ll each be saving money. The more co-workers you can carpool with, the less expensive your monthly fuel costs will be.
- Home Cooked Savings. According to a recent Zagat survey, the national average spent per person on a dinner out is $36. Everyone loves socializing in the summer, but why not try a potluck style meal that can be fun but still save you money? Take it a step further and rotate hosting potluck get-togethers to spread the cost of entertainment and stretch your summer fun budget even further!
- Coming Soon to a (Home) Theater Near You! Everyone loves a great summer flick, but try waiting for it to hit your favorite streaming service. There are a variety of internet companies that stream movies shortly after their release for a small monthly fee. Or, if you need that big theater experience, try going during matinee or weekday showings to save a little more money.
- Think Thrifty for Summer Trips. You don’t need to take a cross-country trip to get the most enjoyment out of your summer. Florida has hundreds of State Parks and beaches that are often close and affordable. And never underestimate the fun that can be had with a simple campout in your own backyard. The fun is in the company of your family, not the destination.
Following these tips can help you make the most out of your summertime experiences, and they are also great tips to help you get on track and stay on track on your way to financial independence.