Before wrapping up those summer plans, consider one unexpected seasonal activity: summer saving. Summer is many things – beelining to the water, the crack of the bat and the smell of hot dogs on the grill -- but it’s also a good time to take advantage of the slow pace and cut some corners.
Simply put, summer represents a great opportunity to save money and rid yourself of unnecessary spending. These tips can help make it happen.
- Be smart about the AC. In Arkansas, we send up daily prayers of thanksgiving for it. But leaving it on full blast is expensive. Be aware of the weather and determine good times to turn it down or even off. Open windows on cooler nights and cross ventilate the house with fans; it’s quite effective and much less expensive than running the AC all night. Plus, don’t forget that most power providers provide free audits and assessments and offer flexible billing so summer bills don’t spike.
- Go…[insert activity here]…outside. The extended daylight of summer affords the opportunity to recreate outdoors. Put down the tablet or phone and trade virtual reality for the actual kind. Grill out more. Cooking in the kitchen creates a lot of heat which you’ll need the AC to combat. Also, consider hanging washed clothes outside to dry. It may look Beverly Hillbillies, but when your energy bill shrinks (just like those pants you left in the dryer), financially you’ll feel more Jed Clampett. And when you do head outside, Mom says don’t forget to close the door…
- Save for your vacation. If you’re vacationing this summer and haven’t started setting aside a little to use for spending money, start now. Studies reveal that 90 percent of vacation expenses in America are charged to credit cards, leaving most travelers rested and relaxed but stuck with inflated debt. Put aside what you can; every little bit helps.
- Take advantage of discounts. Of course, cutting coupons still works, but free money-saving apps such as Gas Buddy and Groupon are less labor-intensive and help locate the best deals in your area. And summer bursts at the seams with special offers. Saving a little here and there may not seem like much at first, but it adds up.
Need help saving? Arkansas Federal can help. Not a member? No problem. Membership is open to all Arkansas residents. Our financial consultants are available in person at any one of our 15 locations across Arkansas, over the phone at (800) 456-3000 or online at afcu.org. They can provide a financial audit and determine where your savings opportunities may be hiding: