20 Summer Savings Tips
By Ramsey Solutions
During the pandemic, many people learned how much money they could save—by not doing anything. Vacations were canceled, there were no fights about school lunch money, and all the usual entertainment hot spots were off-limits. But this summer? It’s a different story. So now that you can spend the summer enjoying the pool, traveling to the beach, and having many family barbecues . . . you’ve got to keep a close eye on your wallet—and your summer savings.
Don’t worry, here are some money-saving tips to enjoy this summer without overspending or sacrificing fun:
1. Trim up your entertainment budget by $100.
Having fun these days can be pretty expensive. A date night here, a night out with friends there (and not to mention that streaming service subscription you just bought). But there are ways to have some fun without spending a gazillion dollars every month. Make the most of free stuff like outdoor concerts, movie-on-the-lawn nights, and free days at local museums.
2. Pocket $400 by skipping the theme park and visiting a natural park instead.
The one-day ticket price for a theme park ranges from about $50 to well over $100 (thank you, Disney). That means a family of four could pay anywhere from $200–400 for just one single day of fun. Sheesh! Keep your cash and visit a state park in the great outdoors instead. Many parks are free or only charge a small entry fee per carload.
3. Earn $100 or more by having a garage sale.
Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned garage sale? More importantly, who doesn’t love the extra $100 you make from pawning your old stuff off onto complete strangers? Now’s the time to hop on that spring-cleaning train, dig through the attic, and start planning for a garage sale.
And if you don’t feel like going through the hassle of cleaning out your garage, sell your stuff online! Post the photos and prices of the items online, let people Venmo you the payment, and all you have to do is drop the item off on their doorstep.
4. Skip the car wash and save $60–100.
Skipping the car wash six times this summer could save you $60–100! So grab the kids, get the suds, and start cleaning your own wheels. Or let the nice summer rain take care of the job for you every once in a while. Every week that you’d usually drive through a car wash, transfer $10 into your summer savings account.
5. Save nearly 20% on energy costs by caulking your windows and doors.
Your mom was right: There’s no need to air condition the entire neighborhood by forgetting to close your windows and doors. So go a step further and seal your windows and doors. This will help your air conditioner not have to work overtime—and it just might help you save up to 20% on your energy costs!
8. Save $200–800 on camp fees by creating your own.
Give it a go and try a camp-free summer this year. In a typical year, 41% of Americans are spending anywhere from $100 to $500 on summer camps. Now multiply that by a few kids and doing more than one camp throughout the summer, and the cost adds up to a small fortune!
13. Stock up on dollar-store snacks before a road trip and save $25–50.
If you’re planning a family road trip for the summer, you can still save money! Instead of stopping for snacks on the road, buy them at the dollar store ahead of time. This will keep you from buying overpriced treats at a convenience store or gas station. Grab a plastic shoebox while you’re there so you can keep all the goodies organized for the road trip (yeah, even if it’s just a Sunday drive out in the country).
14. Look for discounts on your rental car.
Another thing that might look different for you this summer? Renting a car. Don’t pay full price for a car rental this summer! Be on the lookout for deep discounts from rental companies trying to get you to hit the open road.
15. Keep your blinds and curtains closed during the day.
Yeah, you might feel like a vampire blocking out any shred of light creeping in, but the payoff could be worth it. The U.S. Department of Energy says that 76% of sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows becomes heat when it enters your room. And that means your A/C unit will be cranking to try to produce the cool air in your house—which is bad news for your electric bill. If you still want to let natural light in (and we don’t blame you), open the curtains or blinds that don’t let direct sunlight in.
17. Shut the doors!
It might sound weird, but keeping the doors closed to rooms you aren’t using could save you a bundle. Your A/C won’t have to keep pumping air to those closed rooms, which means it’ll have less square footage to cool off. Simple fixes like this can impact your energy bill in a big way.
19. Find vacation discounts.
All right, if you do want to give traveling a go this summer, you’re bound to find some great deals. Hotels, airlines and tourist hot spots are going to be doing all they can to try to seek out summer travelers. This means if you’re comfortable with traveling, you’re bound to save some major money. Search sites like Travelocity, Airbnb and Kayak to see how much you can save!
And don’t forget the beauty of a staycation. Hit the park, your local zoo and that new coffee shop that just opened up downtown. Being a tourist in your own city can really be fun.