There are plenty of strategies for saving money, but some are especially designed for the summer months, when people tend to spend much more on air conditioning, gasoline, travel, and recreation. Many working adults take their annual vacations in June and July, and that can mean a sudden burst of spending. Unless you have carefully budgeted for warm-weather fun time, it’s easy for budgets to feel the strain of this extra spending. Here are a few targeted savings tips especially designed for the hottest season of the year.
Refinance Student Loans
This tip gets filed in the summer savings category because so many new grads begin paying off their student loans in August and September, or first realize what their total debt is soon after June graduation ceremonies. How to handle the possible shock of a high monthly payment? Consider refinancing in order to spread out your repayment period and chop some fat out of your budget. Note that you might need to wait a while before deciding to refinance. What are the other benefits to this strategy? For starters, you’ll have the chance to reset your interest rate if you’ve already been paying on the loan for a while. Also, by extending the length of the contract and lowering your monthly obligation, you’ll be lowering your debt-to-income ratio, a crucial figure if you intend to purchase a home in the near future.
Be Smart About Air Conditioning
For homeowners and apartment dwellers alike, one of the biggest household expenses during the balmy season is the utility bill, primarily as a result of running air conditioners. There are multiple ways to reduce the related AC costs. One is to install a programmable thermostat and set temperatures for evening and daytime cycles. By refraining from readjusting the dial multiple times per day, you automatically lower your energy costs. It’s the same principle by which cruise-control in cars improves your gas mileage. Additionally, even if you have an old-fashioned thermostat, you can deliberately set it to 76 or 77 degrees and not touch it during the remaining weeks of the hot season.
Opt for Discounted Travel Packages
Instead of insisting on a particular travel destination, be open to going where the discounts are. Airlines and venue owners usually have specials to bring in more people during off months, especially for attractions that tend to do more business during cooling times. The major air carriers also tend to have very low rates to random cities. Check out what’s available from the airlines and tourist attractions and adjust your plans to snag the biggest discounts.
Drive Instead of Flying
Unless your vacation destination is more than a thousand miles away from home, you can save big bucks by driving instead of flying. Even better, choose nearby city or state rather than a faraway venue. A half-hour of online research will turn up all sorts of ideas when you consider only your own and surrounding states.
Dry Laundry Outside
Even if you live in an apartment or condo, you can easily knock your utility bill down a notch by drying your clothes outdoors. If you don’t have a yard, make or purchase a portable laundry line for hanging clothing and linens.