How to Save Money by Keeping Your Summer Spending in Check
Summer is that time of the year when everybody is in a haste to escape the relentless heat. Of course, it is also the time for going on short weekend trips as well as long relaxed holidays or deciding on sending kids to summer camps etc. While it might seem like summer is just around the corner, there is still time to cut some costs, look for deals and make wise choices.
Here are a few important things you can consider to ensure a better summer spending plan:
Open a Dedicated Summer Savings Account
Having a dedicated savings account for your vacation funds is an excellent way to make the most out of your money in summer. You can maintain this account separately and always know where exactly your summer spending budget is standing. Since you want these liquid funds immediately accessible, make sure to read the terms and conditions before opening your account to avoid getting your money locked up for a fixed time-frame.
Set Your Social Calendar
Part of the summer entertainment is visiting or being visited by out-of-town friends and family members. Those occasions tempt us to spend more on food and entertainment. However, if you plan for the get-together much in advance, you can avoid going over budget on local activities, recreation, or eating out. Make sure to set your social schedule ahead, so you have plenty of time for summer savings before your family visits you.
Review Your Credit Card Benefits
Before starting your international or local vacation, you should review all your credit card benefits and insurance coverage related information. Many credit card companies offer several levels of travel insurance, rental car insurance, flight cancellation coverage, and more. Depending on your card type, you might also be eligible for other VIP benefits like airport lounge access, hotel room upgrades, and more.
Summer vacation is a great time to eliminate the stress and evoke the fun, but the latter can result in mindless purchasing decisions. Plan your summer vacation ahead of time, based on what you can afford. Overindulgence can lead to overpaying for activities, dining and even basic travel expenses such as lodging and transportation. Sites such as TripAdvisor or Guides by Lonely Planet app can assist you to discover local attractions and things to do, including free or low-cost activities.
Children during their summer vacation will often seek entertainment in the form of movies, amusement parks, summer camps and other pricey outings. Try to get a movie rental subscription or go to matinees and refuse the temptation of movie theater snacks. As for amusement parks, hold out for promotional offers, which are frequent in the summer. When deciding on a summer camp for kids, opt for day camps that bus the children. This will cut down on the cost of food, lodging and paying full-time staff, which means those fees won't be transferred to you.
Unreasonable Home Cooling System
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling are the biggest expenses for consumers, accounting for nearly half of total household energy use. There are several things you can do to ensure your energy costs don’t rise with the heat. Operate your thermostat efficiently, use heavy drapes on windows, keep an eye out for energy appliances and electronics that drain energy even when they’re turned off, and utilize your ceiling and window fans.
Travel Upgrades Temptation
As summer represents peak season for the travel industry, frequent up-selling by travel companies takes place, with offers ranging from flashier car rental, extra insurance coverage etc. The increased cost of the rental and fuel will diminish your travel funds significantly. Accept only the free offers, after thorough research.
Overspending at Garage Sales
Garage sales are a great place to find bargains. Don't buy items you can't use just because the prices are low. If you don't have room for it or can't think of a way to re-purpose it, you're wasting money, not saving. Before heading out to a garage sale, create a list of things you need and stick to it.
Related Article: Staying Within Budget and Still Having a Great Summer Vacation
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