Summer is fast approaching – a carefree season filled with cookouts, vacations, and outdoor fun. While the long, sunny days put us all at ease, increased seasonal spending can lead to undue stress. Summer doesn't need to be expensive to be fun, though! As the weather heats up, cool down your spending by following our tips below.
Tips & Tricks for Summer Savings
1. Plan travel using online tools
Summer is a great time to take a vacation and discover someplace new. However, between flights, rental cars, hotels, and entertainment, vacations can quickly become expensive. While spontaneity is fun, doing your research and using online travel comparison tools to plan your vacation can help you save a considerable sum! Find the cheapest flights, deals on hotels and cars, and even purchase entertainment packages in advance for less using programs like Kayak, Airbnb, and Groupon. Also, don't forget to notify NCSB of your travel plans to protect your money and avoid blocked transactions!
2. Eat like a locavore
While farmers' markets can get pricey, signing up for a CSA (community-supported agriculture program) will save you money while also supporting local farmers! Summer harvests reap an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. As a participating partner in a CSA, you will regularly receive a generous portion of the farm's most recent crop. Another great way to save on groceries this summer? Grow your own! Summer is the perfect time to test out your green thumb by planting garden classics such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, cucumbers, squash, and more!
3. Stick to the generics
From organic foods to sunscreen and bug spray, sticking to generic store brands can save you big bucks at the register. You're not liable to notice any difference in quality, but you will notice a difference in your weekly or monthly grocery bills! While the initial investment is greater, buying in bulk can also help reduce overall spending.
4. Host a backyard bash
Replace a few restaurant meet-ups with backyard cookouts! Invite your friends and family to come over with a dish to pass and you can enjoy a night of fun and delicious food at a very low cost. Make your own entertainment with backyard games or a campfire. It's less expensive than tickets to an event, and will create just as many wonderful memories!
5. Save at the pumps
Gas costs traditionally rise come summertime due to an increase in travel and, therefore, greater demand. There are lots of ways to cut your gas costs and save at the pumps. Take advantage of the beautiful days and ride your bike or walk short distances instead of driving. Find opportunities to carpool with friends and colleagues. Even simple measures like making sure your tires are properly inflated and your trunk is clean and light will increase your gas mileage and decrease your expenses.
6. Clean out your home
While this suggestion is liable to elicit an initial groan, a deep clean of your home can be a great way to save, and even make, money heading into the summer season. In addition to the satisfaction that comes from decluttering, you're bound to find summertime toys, tools, and apparel you forgot you had! You can also host a garage sale to get rid of the things you no longer want, providing you with extra cash to fund your summertime fun.
Summer is meant to be stress-free. By following these simple tips and tricks for summer savings, you'll spend less and enjoy more this season.