The sunny days of summer are the best time to get together with family and friends.
Whether you’re planning a road trip, attending an outdoor wedding or hosting one of many backyard barbecues, there is plenty to do while the sun is still shining!
Unfortunately, when it comes to enjoying the summer months, we tend to spend a lot of money while trying to squeeze in every memorable summer minute.
To help put money back in your pocket, use these saving tactics so you can start planning your next summer gathering.
-Always make your barbecue get together a pot-luck theme. Every guest brings something to the table. This goes for beverages, too.
-Using your barbecue in lieu of the oven will prevent the air conditioning from kicking on and using up energy. Don’t have a barbecue? A crockpot/slow cooker is a great alternative to using the oven, too.
-Keep windows shut and blinds closed during the day to trap in cool air and keep the heat out. Opening windows at night (if at a safe height) will allow the cooler air to circulate through and prevent overuse of your AC unit, as well.
-Keep lights off indoors and rely on the natural sunlight to keep your home lit. Light bulbs radiate heat and a bunch on at the same time can create unnecessary hot air and energy use.
-Set up a rain barrel to collect water from your downspout and use the water for your garden and flower pots rather than straight from the hose.
-Install an outdoor clothesline if possible to keep from using your dryer. Hanging clothes outside will save a lot of energy on your utility bill over the summer months.
-Plant a vegetable garden. Having access to fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans and more will save you money on veggies all summer long.
-Replace or clean your filters regularly. Ensuring your furnace, HVAC, dishwasher or dryer filters are working efficiently also means they’re working economically, thus saving you money.
-Attending a summer wedding? Call up your girlfriends and sift through their closets…that’s what friends are for! Form a clothes swapping group to have on standby rather than spending money on expensive dresses.
-Save money on activities by sticking to the simple stuff, such as: walking the dog along a scenic pathway, reading in the shade, playing catch with a couple of friends, going to the neighborhood park with the kids, etc…
-Clean out your closets and host a yard sale of gently used items. Use the cash towards your next summer splurge, like a weekend road trip.
There are endless tips and great ideas when it comes to saving money on everyday tasks and household items.
Learn to be creative and budget conscious … and begin by asking yourself: “What would Heather do?”
I hope you and your family have a frugal but fun summer!
Heather Tarnopolsky is a Sun Life Financial advisor in Greater Sudbury.