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5 Ways to Save Money This Summer

You probably spend more money in the summer than in any other season.1 It’s hard not to when there’s so much to do and the days are long enough for you to fit it all in! But if you don’t want to wind up in a financial hole, you need a plan for fun that fits your budget. Here are 5 ways to save money this summer:

Plant a garden. Gardening can be a fun summer activity for you and the whole family. It also can produce a bounty of tasty fruits and vegetables and beautiful flowers. Whether you start your crop from seeds or nursery plants, your garden can help trim your grocery bill, while bringing healthy food to your table. And if you don’t have land of your own, consider a community garden. You’ll get to garden and maybe even make some summer friends!

Skip the expensive restaurants. You can dine out without ever stepping in a restaurant this summer. Plan a picnic or host a backyard barbeque. Everyone can pitch in with appetizers, drinks and desserts and you can throw some burgers and dogs on the grill. You’ll have a fun time without all the fuss –or expense—especially if you include some of your homegrown produce.

Use your air conditioning wisely. Did you know that you can save between 1 – 3 percent of the cost of running your AC for each degree you raise it above 72?2 Consider shutting it off completely when you’re not at home or raising it to 85 degrees. When you are home, unless you have specific health issues, choose temperatures that cool you off just enough for comfort. And use ceiling fans to circulate that cool air.

Find free activities. There are plenty of summer activities that won’t cost you any money at all. Cities and towns often host free movie nights and outdoor summer concerts. Theater groups and street performers love to entertain for outdoor audiences in parks and pavilions. Even museums often open their doors for free on select days and times. Check out your city’s homepage and take a look at its calendar. What can you find for fun that’s free?

Plan ahead.  You want to see that summer blockbuster, but you don’t want to bust the bank. Attend a movie matinee or buy at the box office to avoid online fees. Wait a bit and watch that popular movie a bit later at an after-run theater where the prices are cheaper. If you’re headed to an amusement park, buy your tickets ahead of time to save money. Check out your local library for deep discounts to museums. And consider signing up for free loyalty programs that reward you with discounts for the places you enjoy all year long.

At Charter College, we know it can be difficult to stay on budget during the summer, but we know you can do it! Look at all you’ve already done for your future. Ready to do even more? Check out our career-focused programs in accounting, business, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, paralegal studies, veterinary assistance, and the trades. If you’re ready to change your life, start here.

1http://www.ezonomics.com/polls/in_which_season_do_you_spend_the_most_money

2http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/tips/summer.html