Seven ways to heat up your savings this summer
The summer fun has begun.
But while the longer days and shorter nights may bring more excitement, they can also produce more expenses. From celebrating national holidays to booking memorable vacations to attending special events, it can be difficult to stretch your dollar and manage your finances throughout the sun-filled season. After all, splurging in the summertime is becoming its own annual tradition for many Americans.1
Stay on track this summer by following these easy-breezy ways to help brighten up your savings and cool down your spending:
ADJUST YOUR DIAL
Looking to beat the heat?
As the temperatures surge outdoors, you may enjoy the comfort of air conditioning when you’re indoors. However, if you intend to be out for most of the day, it’s a smart idea to program your thermostat before you leave. According to the Department of Energy, you could drop your power bill by almost 10% by setting your device to seven to 10 degrees higher than normal (for eight hours) when no one is home.2
FIND CHEAP ENTERTAINMENT
You often hear, “The best things in life are free.” So, instead of taking an expensive voyage or road trip while your kids are on break from school, seek out a cheap deal in your community or plan a family staycation at your place. Build an itinerary, too. Check if your local zoo, museum or aquarium offers any “discount days” during the week. Visit the different jungle gyms and playgrounds in your town. Or, if you’re feeling creative, hold a scavenger hunt, pitch a tent and go camping in your own backyard.
WATCH YOUR WATER
When it comes to keeping your lawn green — and putting even more green back in your pocket — every drop counts. Inspecting your sprinkler heads and fixing any leaks can save gallons of H2O every month while also saving you a few extra bucks in the process. Also, keep an eye on the upcoming forecast for potential thunderstorms or showers. Turning off your irrigation system and letting your grass soak up natural precipitation is a simple step that can help you lower your water costs.3
PASS ON GAS
Managing your money may not always be a walk in the park, but walking can be a productive way to conserve cash in the warm weather. With fuel prices rising across the country, consider traveling by foot or riding your bike to run your everyday errands.4 If you live close to your most frequented establishments, like the bank or the post office, relying on your feet may help you get both financially and physically fit.
GIVE YOUR OLD STUFF NEW LIFE
If you don’t like it, sell it.
There’s a good chance you have some collectibles collecting dust or other knickknacks in storage that you no longer want, love or need. In some cases, holding a garage sale could net you over $500 for your neglected valuables.5 That’s a hefty chunk of change to add to your emergency fund or put away for a rainy day.
Everyone deserves a second chance. If you’ve thrown in the towel on your New Year’s resolution for 2021, why not use the midyear as an opportunity to pick up the pieces and try again? Make a “splash” this summer by meeting with a financial professional to review both your current savings strategy and your long-term investment goals. In fact, insight from Empower Retirement shows the majority of Americans who receive professional guidance feel more confident in their overall ability to achieve financial wellness.6
If you’re enrolled in your workplace retirement program, contact your employer to see what financial advice resources are available. You may have access to several human or digital tools that can help you along your journey.
Summertime is a great time for playing baseball, playing in the pool and playing outside. It’s also the perfect period for playing the waiting game.7 If you see something online you want to buy, like a pair of new sunglasses, sit tight for at least 24 hours before hitting the “submit order” button. Once you mull it over in your head, you may realize the item is purely for personal fulfillment and doesn’t fit your budget.
Start saving for your summer with an Empower Investment Account
1 The Motley Fool, “Got FOMO? Americans Spend More in Summer,” August 2019.
2 U.S. Department of Energy, July 2021, energy.gov/energysaver/thermostats.
3 Denver Water, “Simple strategies can cut water use and save money,” May 2020.
4 Associated Press, “Gas prices rise again, no sign of letting up this summer,” June 2021.
5 Money Under 30, “How to Make The Most Money From Your Garage Sale,” April 2019.
6 Empower Financial Wellness Survey, April 2021.
7 CNBC, “Make these money moves starting today (so you don’t freak out in the fall),” July 2019.
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