As the summer months rapidly approach us, there’s no better time than now to revisit your financial situation. Akin to “spring cleaning” with the holiday season now assuredly behind us and a new sense of vigor leading the way, now is a great time to get re-motivated about maintaining financial freedom.
Admittedly, at least for me, it seems a lot easier to harness and express gratitude for the things I already have during these warmer months. That being said, it’s easy to fall into “oblivious spending” because we’re so distracted by the nice weather and plethora of activities that come with the summer. It’s important to remember that living frugally and living well are not mutually exclusive. After some rumination and “sun” inspiration, I’ve come up with a list of summer-appropriate tricks to help you stay on budget and get the most out of the summer season.
+ Sun-dry your clothes. Don’t you remember how amazing the sheets would smell at your Grandmother’s house? They were quite crisp as well, but not everyone has the time to starch everything (and I do mean everything) like she did. But you can still give your little ones the chance to weave and duck in and out of billowing cotton sheets. Perhaps that’s a bit romanticized, but it’s a truth that there is nothing better smelling than sun-dried laundry. The bonus? You’ll save a lot in electricity by giving your dryer a break and your clothes will last longer. Take advantage of the weather and let Mother Nature do the work.
+ Bike. If you haven’t noticed, it’s biking season. I can’t help but think that all those bikers out there haven’t tapped into something wonderful on a multitude of levels. For one, it will save your car mileage and gas. Particularly with gas prices rising to exorbitant heights, opting to bike locally to run errands or just get fresh air is a smart move. It can also be a great activity that not only allows for family time but also promotes a healthy life and gets your loved ones into a routine of exercising regularly. Not to mention, it’s preferable to walking – self-made wind is a great way to stay cool in the hot weather and staying healthy and fit will save you tons of money in the long run.
+ Barbecue. It sounds silly and, perhaps, a bit counter-intuitive but there’s no better time than summer (aside from the obvious reasons) to indulge in entertaining and socialize. Why go out to a restaurant when you can save money and split costs for a delicious meal with neighbors, families and friends? Most seasonal food needs very little prep, and because it’s seasonal cost is minimal! It’s a lot easier to entertain during the summer months as well as people tend to gravitate towards lighter dishes, meaning healthier and cheaper meals for everyone. True, meat can get expensive, but if you enjoy that aspect of barbecuing, find a bulk meat plan and split the costs with a neighboring family. Not only are you saving money, reaping the benefits of physical interaction and building stronger social bonds with your loved ones, but you’re eating healthy and cheaply all while taking advantage of the natural ambiance of a long summer’s night. You really couldn’t ask for anything more.