School is out, the temperatures are rising, and you just want to save some money away. Well now is the best time to do it. We’re halfway done with the year, so you have plenty of time to save for the holidays, pay off some cards, and unless you like to splurge on fireworks, there aren’t any major spending events until the school year starts. You have a few months but you don’t have to open a lemonade stand to make additional cash this summer. Instead, take these steps to save your hard-earned dollars:
- Turn off the AC! Now we’re not saying you have to turn your home into a hot box, but when you aren’t there, no reason to run up your electric bill. Last person to leave for work in the morning should set the AC to the upper 70s – like 79. And after a rain or when the temperature drops at night, turn up the air conditioner, crack open the windows, turn on some fans and get nature’s cross breeze to cool the house for you.
- AC on, Doors Closed! You might think this is common sense, but it is a simple step that is easy to overlook. If you have the air conditioner running in the low-mid 70s, you don’t want it working to cool off the backyard, garage, or neighbors. Make sure everyone in the house knows that when the AC is on, the doors and windows stay closed. And be watchful if you have dogs – they like to come in and out, but that also means your money does too.
- Chill with a new filter! It is important to replace your air conditioner filter every three months. This small step can lead to big savings during the hottest months.
- Grab those clothespins! While it might seem antiquated in this technological time, drying your clothes outside on a warm summer day can save a lot on your electric bill. Just check the weather beforehand because you don’t want to naturally wash them again.
- Turn up the heat outside! Nothing brings friends and family together like a barbecue – burgers, dogs, ribs, steaks, corn, asparagus, potatoes – you name it, you can grill it. But grilling outside keeps the heat outside, and a $25 jug of propane or a bag of charcoal is more affordable than constantly having the oven fighting with the AC.
- Speaking of grilling up food, look for great deals, especially before the holidays. Check out BOGOs (Buy One, Get One free), grill specials (some grocery stores will sell off bulk fresh-made sausages for $1; deals on vegetables), and of course bulk savings.
- Going on a trip? Check out deal websites, apps, and visitor information centers to get great pricing on hotels, meals, and attractions. While driving across the country, I saved 50% on one of my hotel stays in a 4 star hotel and casino using the Hotels.com free app.
- Looking at a new car? Summer is one of the better times to get a current year or pre-owned model as dealerships try to unload inventory and make space for the new models. Of course, you should check out your credit score to know if you can qualify for that loan and terms you are likely to receive.
These are just some basic steps to take to save money this summer, but there are countless other ways. Do you have your own Summer Saving Secrets? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out the supermoon on Sunday, 6/23!
Michael Cohen is the Content, Community and Social Media Manager at myFICO.com.