Summer is officially here, but even as you enjoy the weather and maybe some time off, you can still save money. Here are 5 summertime tips to maximize your money.
Now being on the west coast of Canada I’m not quite feeling the heat yet, but most of the country definitely is. If you’re not blessed with the gift of air conditioning, then like us you might be looking at a few options to keep your home cool this hot season.
Last year I wrote an article outlining a few ways to keep cool during the summertime heat. The most fun one, in my opinion, is setting up a fan relay, where you create a circular airflow using some fans in your home. This year we’re taking our fan system to the next level, by adding some screens to keep bugs out, allowing us to use more windows and more natural airflow to keep our home cool this summer.
Save For Christmas
The weirdest tip I can give you is to start saving for December during the summer. Every year I repeat this advice, and I’m sure every December you wish you paid more attention to it. If you start now, by putting aside $25/paycheck (set it up through automatic payments so you don’t forget), you can have an extra $300 this winter. That’s an amazing present, travel expenses, or a huge reduction to your credit card bill. Regardless of what your holidays look like, even $300 can go a long way to reducing your financial stress this upcoming winter. Stay ahead by putting aside some extra cash now, so when you no longer have sun to keep you happy you can have some money in the bank to make you smile.
Purchase New Summer Items After Summer
Did you rip your swimming trunks on the last vacation of the season? Wait a few weeks before you replace your swimsuit. Seasonal stuff will always go on sale at the end of the season, so the more that you can wait to purchase, the better off you will be. Obviously if you need to have something in order to enjoy your vacation, go for it. But if there’s something that you think to yourself “oh, this would be nice to have”, make a note of it and revisit it half way through September. If it still seems like a good idea, start searching for clearance and sale items to take advantage of the sale. If you can borrow something for the season, definitely do that first.
Summer is the perfect time to do a garage sale. Because it is warm and sunny all day long, you can have plenty of hours to go through those dark corners of your home to find all the stuff that’s been piling up all winter long. Take a weekend, pull everything out onto your lawn, and start going through it. Donate what you can, mark prices on what you want to sell, and trash or store the rest.
If possible, try to time your sale with your neighbours to do a massive garage sale all at once. You’ll get way more traffic and have a better chance of getting rid of all your junk. If you live in a remote area or don’t have friendly neighbours, look for a place locally that is doing a joint garage sales. Community centers, churches, or other large public places can often do a joint summer sale where you’ll pay for your table, but will get large returns because of the guaranteed traffic.
Vacation At Home
Do you live in a place where tourists flock? Have you ever gotten frustrated by the increase in traffic, the endless photographs of stupid landmarks, and the slow street walkers? Stop trying to fight against the flow and embrace your local attractions. Take a week off work, rent a hotel or a spot at the local campsite, and truly vacation in your home town.
Don’t check your work email or go to any of your regular spots. Tour the local winery or microbrewery, spend a day at the beach, hit up the local museum and golf course. I have lived in a couple of places in my life where I’ve only begun to enjoy their attractions after I left, which is truly unfortunate. Take advantage of your locale while it is inexpensive to do so.
What summer tips do you have?