Friday, June 05, 2009

20 Ways to Save Money this Summer

The summer season brings vacations, birthdays, graduations, and parties, which all cost extra money. However, there are several ways you can save this summer to survive this recession. To help my readers looking to save this summer so they can still enjoy the sunny weather, I have collected the following 20 easy tips to save money.

1. Adjust your Withholdings

The average taxpayer overpays the IRS by over $2,000 per year. It can make for a nice refund come tax season, but by adjusting your withholdings you can get more money each month. This can be especially helpful during the summer season.

2. Make a Summer Budget

Most people plan their summers in advance, so why not take it one step further and plan your entire summer budget as well? Then, try to stick to it as much as you can. You’ll be surprised how much you can save when you plan out a budget in advance.

3. Plan Vacations in Advance

Planning vacations well in advance will allow for you to get the best deals on hotels, air fair, and even tickets to attractions like Disneyland or Sea World. Check out websites like and to search for early bird specials and bundle packages.

4. Always Ask for a Discount

If you plan to do any traveling this summer with your family, then you should get in the habit of always asking for a discount. Hotels, theme parks, museums, and car rental agencies always run unadvertised sales and specials. By simply inquiring about a discount you could save hundreds of dollars this summer.

5. Investigate Gas Prices

When traveling, a few miles can make a big difference in gas prices. There are a lot of sites – such as – that can help you plan your fuel stops on a road trip, so that you can be sure to get the best gas prices possible.

6. Plan Meals

In addition to planning gas stops in advance you could also decide where you are going to stop for meals. You could even try making easy meals in advance that you can eat at a park or rest stop.

7. Vacation with Friends

Vacationing with friends or family members means you can split gas prices, hotel rooms, and entertainment expenses. Which could cut the cost of your vacation in half instantly.

8. Coupon Clipping

Summer savings are infectious, and with the recent economy, there are even more deals out there to take advantage of. You can try clipping coupons from your local newspaper, or purchase a coupon book from a local non-profit group. It may seem silly, but you would be surprised how much money you can save by clipping coupons.

9. Hyper Mile

"Hyper-miling" is the newest gas-saving craze, which involves altering your driving behavior to extend your mileage. recently posted an article on the topic that you can check out by clicking here.

10. Cook Outside

Using your oven and stove can heat up your house, and result in excess air conditioning expenses. By cooking more food on the BBQ you can drastically reduce your energy costs, and with energy rates going up this summer any reduction will help.

11. Programmable Thermostats

If you do not have a programmable thermostat for your A/C then you might want to get one. You can use it to schedule your A/C to come on just a few minutes before you get home. That way your house will still be comfortable when you arrive, but you will not have to pay to keep the A/X running all day.

12. Full Laundry Loads

When doing laundry, you should always find a full load to wash. It uses the same amount of water, and can reduce the total amount of loads you will need to wash.

13. Fill in Drafts

Needing to caulk and seal a few drafty areas around the house? Do not hesitate because of the costs… the energy you are loosing through those drafts will cost you more than a container of caulking.

14. Make Expensive Purchases Online

We all have friends of family members with summer birthdays, and if you are buying a pricey gift then you should try to buy it online. You can usually search out pretty good deals, just make sure to make your purchase early enough to account for shipping.

15. Party at Home

Purchasing pricey beverages and snacks that are sold at bars and clubs can add up very quickly. Entertaining at home more often can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the summer.

16. Family Shared Plans

If every one in your family has a cell phone, but they are on separate accounts, then you could be wasting hundreds of dollars per year. Ask your phone provider if they have family plans, and how hard it would be to switch.

17. Pack a Lunch

Estimates show that bringing your own lunch to work even a few times a week can save up to $100 per month. If you do not like cold sandwiches, then you could try bringing leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.

18. Turn the Lights Off

Whenever you have the A/C on you should always have your lights turned off. Most light bulbs emit heat, and on a sunny day you can let light in through the windows.

19. Donate and Deduct

Donating some unwanted winter clothes? Do not forget all clothes donations are deductible on your next tax return. It will not save you any money right now, but it will next April.

20. Unplug on Vacation

If you are going to be away from home for a while for vacation, then you should always unplug major electrical appliances such as computers and televisions. Even when they are off, they still use some electricity, so by unplugging them you can reduce your energy bill.

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