Summertime often brings with it a spike in living expenses. The kids are out of school, so you have to pay for daycare if you aren’t at home with them. Many families travel, and they still have to pay their ongoing bills while they’re away. The AC gets cranked up, driving up your electric bill in the summer. But what can you do? Quite a bit, actually. Here are some of the best money-saving tips for summer.
Take Advantage of Free Activities
Grab a parenting magazine or check their website. Identify free activities in your area and put them on the calendar so that there is always something to do. Maybe you take the kids to a free museum day on Saturday or watch a free performance at the local library. Listen to ethnic bands performing at the park and visit friends and family. Enroll in the library summer reading program, and get the kids reading. You can borrow DVDs, STEM kits and audio books while you’re at it. Visit a national park instead of a theme park.
Find Cheaper, Simpler Ways to Stay Cool
Summertime is associated with a sky-high electric bill and equally high-water bill, especially if you have a pool. One way to keep utility bills in check is to find cheaper, simpler ways to stay cool. Let the kids jump through the sprinkler before you break out the wading pool. Play in the wading pool before you open up the in-ground or above-ground pool.
Drink ice water before you rush out to buy slushies and smoothies. Drink slushies and smoothies before you go buy ice cream. Turn on the fans before you turn down the AC. Add a mister to your fans and sit out on the porch with the breeze.
Get Your AC Serviced
Heating and cooling your home accounts for roughly a third of your energy usage throughout the year. Especially during a Texas summer, it can hit fifty percent. This is why maximizing the efficiency of your air conditioner is essential if you want to save money over the summer. Steps you can take to achieve this include replacing the air filter, cleaning the condenser, and removing anything blocking air flow to the AC.
Maintenance will delay the day the unit needs service. However, you want to get any issues addressed as soon as possible. Don’t delay an AC repair, especially in states like Texas or Arizona where the summer becomes very hot, when you hear the compressor making funny noises or the unit struggling to start.
You don’t want to be left in the sweltering heat because you put off making a service call a couple of days. Furthermore, you will generally save money by getting the unit serviced sooner rather than later. Patching a condenser coil and refilling it with refrigerant costs less than paying for a whole new compressor.
Do Your Own Washing Wash your own car, and you could save five to ten bucks per wash. Better yet, it is a fun activity for the kids. Wash your own pets, and you could save quite a bit of money, too. Pay the kids for doing these chores, and they’ll be more responsible with the money than if you just gave it to them.
Hold a Garage Sale
A good way to save money is to have a one-in-one-out rule, where you have to get rid of something to make room for when you buy something. Hold garage sales to clear out the garage and that stuff piled in the corner of the living room. You can use the money to pay for new toys or family activities.