The sun shining high in the sky and the trees swaying in the warm breeze mark the beginning of summer. Each summer brings an infusion of positive energy into our lives. This season not only has a positive impact on your emotions, but it can also benefit your finances.
Enjoy the summer breeze: In most of the regions, the evening summer breeze allows us to enjoy fresh air and save energy at the same time. Whenever the air is cool outside, open your windows to let fresh air circulate through your home and keep your air conditioning bills to a minimum. Also, close your shutters during the day to keep your house as cool as possible. Another great energy saving tip is grilling your food outside in order to avoid the use of electricity in your house. Apply the same saving principles to your laundry. Instead of running your dryer every time you do your laundry, try hanging your clothes outside and take advantage of the summer fresh scent!
Do outdoor activities:
Many times winter weather conditions make it hard for us to go for a jog or bike ride outside. Most of us end up going shopping, eating out or watching a movie. However, in the summer there are no excuses! During the summer, there are various affordable and healthy activities to do. You can exercise outside, attend fairs, festivals and concerts. Check activities that you are interested in ahead of time, so you can buy coupons and get discounts. Just remember to get out and enjoy simple pleasures of warm weather activities, because before you know it, the chill of autumn will be in the air.
Take advantage of the summer produce:
Summer is one of the best seasons for buying great fruits and vegetables. You can find fruits and vegetables on sale in the supermarket, but don’t forget to visit your local farmers market. There you can find organic and fresh produce at a cheaper price than in stores. A great way of using your produce is to experiment with new recipes that will allow you to eat at home instead of spending money eating out. You can find easy and fast recipes at Real Simple: http://www.realsimple.com/
Don’t spend on unnecessary items:
Let’s face it. We all like to go shopping. However, there are strategies that you can use to avoid dipping into your emergency fund or maxing out your credit card. Asking yourself a series of questions before making the decision to buy items will help you fight your impulse purchases.
Do I need this item or do I want it?
Making the distinction between “wanting” and “needing” is surprisingly difficult. You want a new pair of jeans and they are on sale. But just think about how often you will wear them. Also, follow the “I can live without it rule.” Every time you see a pair of jeans or purse that you love, ask yourself: Do I have other jeans or purses that could be worn in place of the new item? If the answer is yes, DON’T BUY IT!
Will buying a product take away from another priority?
What’s your priority? Is it a summer vacation or a dress? Making a list of priorities will help you focus on saving money for your main priority. Consider whether the purchase of a dress would jeopardize your savings for a vacation or other priorities. If it does, then wait to buy the dress! While saving for your vacation focus on all the fun activities that you will enjoy when traveling instead of focusing on the items that you can’t afford.
Create a budget:
A budget will help you prioritize your purchases: First, make a list of your monthly expenses that are necessary. You can include: rent, taxes, insurance, loans, children’s basic expenses, utilities, food and credit card debt. Then, make another list with expenses that are important but not crucial. For example, cell phone, cable, gas, clothing, laundry and entertainment. Then, add up all the expenses and subtract them from your monthly income. After that, divide the total of your expenses by the number of pay checks and other income that you receive per month. This should indicate how much money you should put aside from each check to cover your monthly expenses.