The lazy days of summer should mean lots of soaking up rays, socializing with friends and even saving money as you kick back at home with a cold drink and a good book.
But in reality, we all seem to lighten our wallet even more in the summer! Between vacations, skyrocketing A/C bills and the temptation to order out so you don’t have to go out in the sweltering heat, the costs can definitely add up. With prices as high as they are right now, however, it’s more important than ever to rein in spending and ramp up saving this summer.
Here are a few simple strategies to help you do that:
Budget, budget, budget: Creating a budget for what you need to spend (and leaving some room for what you want to spend!) can help keep saving on track, while you also need to get a good handle on what money you have coming in. At Integrity Staffing Solutions, we offer all associates access to Payactiv, which lets them tap into their earned wages ahead of a typical pay day. For budgeters, this can help you stay ahead of the game if an unexpected expense comes up—and if you’re just getting started with a budget, having early access to your funds is a good way to figure out what you need and when so your budget can be accurate.
Look at your space: It may be tempting to chill out indoors during the summer but cranking up the air conditioning can be a big drain on your wallet. Opt for open windows when you can to cut down on costs, and you can even go the extra step and weatherproof windows and doors with caulk.
Rethink your plate: Food can add up to be a big expense, especially with ordering out or dining with friends. Make a commitment this summer to be more intentional about your meals: Shop at farmers’ markets and local growers to stock your fridge and help create fresh and healthy (and much more affordable!) food. If you can have the space and time, you can even start a small garden to grow some of your own.
Take a staycation: Trips to the beach, enjoying other cities’ nightlife or even going overseas may be on many of our summer bucket lists, but it can be just as exciting, and far less expensive, to stick closer to home. Be a tourist in your own town by checking out all of the newest restaurants or bars, exploring historical sites or taking in arts and culture offerings. You can even have a staycation right at home by unplugging on your days off and diving into your favorite book or working on your tan right in the peace and quiet of your backyard.
Enjoy the outdoors: From the fresh air to the greenery, there are lots of reasons to head outside in the summer—and saving money can be among them! Instead of signing up for an expensive gym membership, pound the pavement at your local park. Put on your walking shoes and head out to meet friends or do your grocery shopping on foot instead of driving or catching an Uber (it also helps the environment!). And opt for exploring the local gardens and parks—bringing along a picnic with your favorite person or some Frisbees with a group of friends—instead of pricey boardwalks and amusement parks.
Summer is prime time for fun—and fun usually comes with a price tag. But with some proactive thinking and a willingness to be creative, you can enjoy all that summer has to offer—for less!