I’ve often said that budgets never work, but the commitment to trying is better than nothing. While we are big picture, goal-oriented advisors here at the Haas Financial Group, everyone needs a little help watching their spending from time to time, right? So while these ideas won’t help you live a care-free retirement, send your child to college, or leave a lasting legacy, they may help you save a couple bucks this summer and afford you the ability to turn the potential for “free spending” into a more budget-friendly experience.
- Look for summer freebies – Look for street festivals, outdoor concerts, craft fairs, etc. that are typical of summertime. The Kutztown area has many of them, and they are often B.Y.O. everything, which can offer a lower cost experience.
- Budget your vacation – This sounds like no fun, but think about the little ways to save money that may not reduce the quality of the experience. Maybe it’s a hotel room with kitchen for you to cook at least one meal a day? We go to the beach the last week of August for much better prices and it’s less crowded. And bring cash. It may keep you from “free spending” on credit.
- Host a garage sale – One person’s junk is another person’s treasure, right? We were able to get rid of a lot of our baby stuff two weeks ago, and also feel good that it’s going to a great home for an expecting family! Make room for something new and make a dollar or two.
- Consider dependent care options – Do you have a Family Savings Account at work? You can use it for dependent care which may mean for camps, programs at the YMCA or the local parks, etc. If necessary, see if you can do baby-sitter sharing. Have your kids and their friend together for the day and split the cost with another parent in need.
- Visit your local library – There is typically summer programming at community libraries, and it generally spans all ages; children’s events, adult educational seminars, and various other meet and greets. They are usually free.
- Sign up for food delivery – Summertime is also the time for farm-fresh food here in PA. Find a nearby pickup or subscribe with a local vendor for weekly fresh fruits and vegetables. It may stop the impulse buys at the grocery store and they can save you time and money.
- Cut chord on cable – Desiree and I did this in March and are so pleased. Out with cable and onto streaming our TV. We still get the shows we like to watch and have a library to come back to when needed. We subscribe through YouTube for $50/month instead of the $100+ we were paying before.
- Reverse your ceiling fans for more efficient energy bill – Maybe these aren’t in homes anymore, but I grew up with one huge ceiling fan that would pull and push air, depending on the time of the year. Reverse your fans, open the windows and suck the outside air through the house. Or close the house up, flip the switch on the fan and push cool air-conditioned air down.
- Embrace the summer schedule and weather. Take bikes instead of driving cars. Picnic at the park instead of dining out. And use the lack of schedule to attend the matinees/ less expensive shows and movies. Each enhance the summer experience, at less cost.
Here’s to summer!
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