Posted on Friday 06 August 2021
The struggle is real when it comes to saving money during the warmer months. Whether you’re a parent, a student, a business owner, or anything in between, saving money can be particularly difficult in the summer. Kids are back at home, college classes are out of session, and the summer is prime vacation season.
And let’s not forget that longer days and warmer temperatures are often enough to put a little pressure on checking accounts, whether it’s from a weekend away or more opportunities for dinner and drinks on a restaurant patio.
We’ve all got plenty of opportunities to spend money during the summer, but what about saving? Have you created a summer savings plan yet? Missing the mark on saving (even if only for a few months) can put you at a huge disadvantage by the time the fall rolls around, bringing you right back into the stress of living paycheque to paycheque.
Below, we’ll give you some simple summer savings strategies to help you maximize your savings power (and boost your bank account in the process).
We’re not saying you need to turn off your A/C entirely, but easing up on your A/C can provide significant savings on your monthly utility bills. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, and only use the air conditioning on the days that are especially hot and humid.
During the nighttime, when it’s naturally cooler and less humid, you can really maximize your ability to save on air conditioning. Learning to live with less air conditioning can definitely be an adjustment, so start slow and adjust by a degree or two.
Thermostat changes aren’t just for summer, either. This is a great practice to consider year-round: on average, you could save 10 percent on your heating and cooling bills each year by adjusting your thermostat for 8 hours each day.
Cooking on the stovetop or baking can put a strain on your utility bill over time – not to mention that it makes the overall temperature in your home even hotter. Save on your electric or gas bill and opt for cooking on a grill instead!
The summer is made for backyard barbecues and get-togethers, so not only will you be creating a fun way to spend time with loved ones, but you can also cut costs on your utilities, too.
If you’re planning on cooking for a group of friends or family, just don’t forget to make your backyard barbecue BYOB (yet another great way to cut down on summertime expenses)!
The warm summer sun is a terrific (and free) alternative to putting clothes in the dryer. Save money on your utilities by hanging a clothesline outside and letting clothes dry in the sun! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how fresh your clothes smell after an afternoon of air-drying in the summer air.
As an additional bonus, air-drying is a great way to ensure that your clothes last longer. It preserves threads and fibers by eliminating wear and tear from being in the dryer, prevents static cling, and when done correctly, it can even remove wrinkles.
If drying your clothes outside is not an option, you can get an indoor drying rack and let your clothes dry in a laundry room, spare room, or even in a living room corner. And you don’t need to fully commit to air drying if you need clothes to be ready quicker – even if you use a low heat setting to partially dry clothes and let them finish drying on a rack, you’ll still be saving money!
Sunshine, longer days, and better weather all add up to the perfect opportunity to spend time outside in the fresh air. It’s also an opportunity to curb your spending – after all, it’s easy to spend money when you’re cooped up during the cold and snow of winter (looking at you, online shoppers).
Boost your savings power by getting outside. Take a walk through the park, spend an afternoon on a leisurely bike ride, explore a new hiking trail, or cool off at a nearby beach. And instead of shopping at the grocery store, opt for getting produce from a local farmers market to cut back on costs and get outdoors at the same time.
Keep an eye out for your local community calendar of events to find free or low-cost things to do. You could take a class at a local community centre, see a local theatre production, or discover a new museum exhibit. Community calendars can be a terrific resource to leverage during the summer months – you may be surprised at how many fun activities and events are right in your neighborhood!
From Netflix to HBO to Hulu to Spotify, there’s no shortage of streaming services to choose from. And it’s not surprising that the pandemic has influenced more Canadians than ever to sign up for streaming services: between February and March 2020 alone, streaming services for TV shows and movies jumped 22 percent.
Fine-tune your summer savings plan by cutting back on your streaming services. Are you really using every streaming service often enough to justify the cost? Even cutting back on $16.99 each month can result in saving more than $200 over the year – and that’s money that could be growing in a savings or retirement account.
If you’re having trouble saying goodbye to a streaming platform or show that you really love, you could cancel your paid subscription and sign up for a free trial. If you have multiple email addresses, you could use each email to get a free month of streaming. While it’s not a strategy for the long-term, it’s a great way to decrease costs for a few months!
Finally, don’t forget the power of accountability – if you want to start saving money, you’ll need to commit to it. Holding yourself accountable can keep you focused and help retrain your thought process when it comes to spending and saving money. Here are a few ways that you can keep saving money top of mind: