Break Free From The Daily Grind With A Staycation This Summer

Photo: flickr/esther-

Although the official first day of summer is still a week away, the warmer temperatures and longer days are definitely a sign that summer has already made its arrival, whether we are ready for it or not. And for some, the summer season can put a dent in their wallet since kids are out of school and families generally use the time for travelling and other money-eating activities.In order to stay as financially savvy as possible during this time, take note of the following ways to enjoy the summer sun while remaining money conscious:

Save Energy

Seeing as our company is based out of Austin, TX, we can definitely sympathize with those of you who would prefer to have their air conditioning cranked all the way on full blast throughout the summer months. There are still ways to stay cool that can prove more cost effective though.

Completely turning off your air conditioning might be a little extreme depending on where you live, but you can decrease your use of a/c while you’re away from your house or late at night when the temperature drops by simply moving your thermostat up. If you are using your air conditioning on a regular basis, also be sure to replace the a/c filter every few months to significantly cut down on energy costs. Dirty filters can prevent cool air from easily flowing throughout your home.

Greg Mischio of recommends having a technician check your air conditioning system annually to make sure that the unit has enough Freon and is working at its peak efficiency. Also, if you are feeling daring enough to go without your a/c entirely then use fans or leave windows open to create cooler ventilation.

Another way to cut down on energy costs during the summer is to take advantage of the outdoors by cooking dinner outside on a grill rather than using your oven since an oven will simply trap heat indoors. Finally, let your laundry air dry outdoors rather than using your dryer. Not only will your energy bill decrease, but your clothes will smell summertime fresh.

Make Smart Financial Decisions While Vacationing

Sometimes we just need to get away for a while. Vacations are the perfect cure for this, but they can also eat into your summer budget. Fortunately, there are some cost effective methods for saving the most while on your getaway adventure.

Before leaving home, call your bank to let them know where you will be travelling. By doing this, they won’t suspect that your cards have been stolen. Also find out what ATM and debit card fees you may be subject to, especially if you are travelling outside of the country. Make a point to check your balance before you leave and set a limit for yourself so that you do not end up withdrawing more money than necessary during your trip.

Since pickpocketing occurs most often during the summer vacation season, CBS Boston recommends taking inventory of what is in your wallet before exploring the area that you are visiting. If possible, bring at least one back up card that you can leave in a concealed area of your luggage. Finally, download an app provided by your bank onto your phone so that you can easily keep track of your spending throughout your entire vacation.

Have a Stay-cation

If taking a vacation outside of your hometown isn’t in your budget, there are still a lot of ways to enjoy the summer season, take part in local activities, and escape from the monotony of your usual at-home routine. If you are looking to take advantage of the warm weather, visit a nearby water park or amusement park. If you want to beat the summer heat, take refuge in a museum or movie theatre.

If the cost of some activities seems like too much for your budget then look into local activities that are free or cost just a couple of bucks total. Austin offers free summer activities that veer from the norm like outdoor movies at Deep Eddy Pool, summer concerts at Zilker Park, or outdoor plays associated with Zilker theatre Productions.

Do a little online research to find out what free events are going on in your area over the next couple of months. Even something as simple as making a trip to the pool or having a picnic in the park could be ideal activities for relishing in all that summer has to offer.

Take Advantage of Season-End Sales

Longer days and more event-filled weekends may make it easier for you to find yourself in a store wanting to make purchases on summer display items, but try to avoid being tempted to buy things like swimsuits, outdoor equipment, or beach items unless absolutely necessary.

If you can make it to the end of the summer season to purchase something like gardening tools, beach towels, or patio furniture, then as explains, you will find much greater bargains once you have made it to labour Day versus if you were to purchase those same items in the summer’s early months.

It’s easy to take your mind off of your finances when you’re having fun in the sun, but by making a conscious effort to follow the above advice, it is less likely that the season will do damage to your wallet.

This post originally appeared at 360 Mortgage Group.

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