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5 Strategies for Summer Savings

May 28, 2023 • Education

The days are getting longer, and the temperatures are rising, but that doesn’t mean your spending needs to shoot up along with the numbers on your thermometer.

Sticking to your budget can be challenging. Kids are out of school and there’s lots of idle time to fill. The lure of a fun-in-the-sun vacation can tempt you into spending unwisely, going into debt, or putting off things you really should take care of now. Or simply managing unexpected costs or expenses you’re not prepared for can make you feel like you’re falling behind.

But summer doesn’t have to be financially stressful. Here are five ways to make your budget outlook even sunnier by finding creative ways to save money this summer.

Get Outside and Go Camping

Instead of booking airfare, hotels, rental cars, and investing in a new resort-wear wardrobe, save money by spending your vacation in the wilderness. Camping provides a great opportunity to unplug and unwind.

The diversity of potential locations in our region is abundant! From mountains, rivers, and lakes, to islands, ocean beaches, state, and national parks, and more, finding the perfect spot to pitch your tent for a few days should be fun to research and prepare for.

Borrowing or renting equipment can help you cut costs and provide recreational options. Using your brother’s kayak or canoe, borrowing your college roommate’s family sized tent or renting mountain bikes and other gear from a local purveyor instead of buying it yourself can save you plenty. Doing your own shopping and cooking over a campfire will be cheaper than any overpriced resort, chain, or hotel restaurant.

And hey, don’t forget to pack mosquito repellant and fixings for S’MORES!!

Don’t Let Utility Bills Take You by Surprise

Staying cool this summer may lead to electricity bills that may stun you if you’re not prepared. Save on your bills by being smart about how and when you use electricity to cool your home.

Adjust your thermostat throughout the day. Turn it up when you leave in the morning — but avoid setting the temperature too high so your system doesn’t have to work harder to cool down your home once you’re there.

Blackout curtains and fans can reduce the need to blast the A/C. Keep your air vents clean and swap out dirty filters to improve your air conditioning unit’s function.

Many of our local utilities offer level billing plans that average your yearly usage to arrive at a low and predictable monthly amount so that regardless of how hot it gets your bill stays low and manageable. Call your provider to find out how to sign up.

Is There a Community Supported Agriculture Program in Your Neighborhood? 

You can join in on the fun of a commuity garden and enjoy a summer full of delcious and fresh produce. Fresh, locally grown produce is perfect for delicious and refreshing summer salads and healthy snacks. You can grow your own and save a lot of money. Or find a Community Garden or Community Supported Agriculture Program that allows you to buy a share of the bounty from local farmers to help you save tons on fresh — often organic — fruits and vegetables you can feast on all summer and preserve and store for the rest of the year as well.

You may have to pay upfront for the entire season’s worth of produce, but buying directly from farmers means you don’t pay for packaging, shipping, and grocery store overhead.

To Learn More Check Out:

https://spokanegardens.org/ and https://incgincommunitygardens.org/

Find Easy and Accessible Summer Fun at No or Low Cost

Free summer concerts, outdoor movies in the park (or the parking lot), walking tours, art shows and museums, library summer reading programs, neighborhood festivals and more — you don’t have to look far to find fun, free, activities that kids and adults alike are sure to enjoy.

If you’re struggling to come up with enough free activities to keep the family engaged, check out this list!

Put the Gym on Pause and Get Free Workouts Outdoors

This summer, think about suspending your gym membership for a few months and get out and sweat in the hot, summer, sunshine. You’ll not only save a few bucks; you can work on your tan and your abs at the same time.

Take advantage of the equipment in our local parks. Go on runs around the neighborhood or use our local trails and cross-country courses. Take advantage of city and county swimming pools — or the one in your friend’s back yard or their apartment complex.

Pausing your membership instead of canceling it means you can come back to in the fall, and you won’t have to pay initiation fees again.

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