10 Ways We Saved and Made Money This Summer

Fall is here, but I wanted to take one last look at our summer. Summer around our house is actually a tough time of year. 

We tend to work out less, eat more, spend more, and travel more. Summer really throws us off our usual routine because we finally have a little bit extra time together and want to play. Knowing that was the case we still made a few decisions that helped our bank accounts stay ahead this last summer.

  1. Limit How Many Times You Eat Out – We did more family picnics at parks this summer. It is more fun to get out and play anyways. Unless we had a coupon to a place, we didn’t go out to eat to also save some cash. Sometimes you get home so late that it’s easier to just pick something up, but I’ve really tried to just keep driving home.
  2. Cleared out more “stuff” and sold it online – Oh man I don’t think people realize how much money they have around the house that just doesn’t get used. All that “stuff” is just money and people will pay you for it. We cleared out a dining room table, tools, golf bag, TV, furniture, and so much more. Just as good as the money is freeing up the space. There is always a buyer for your stuff.
  3. Shopped at the grocery store on vacation instead of eating out – We went to Hawaii and the first stop was at Costco. We loaded up food for a week and saved a ton of money. We went out to eat once, but we never wanted to leave the beach to sit in a restaurant and had fun cooking meals together. Food costs on vacation add up fast and can cost more than the transportation to get to your vacation.
  4. Clothes Exchange – Went to a clothes exchange for our daughter’s school clothes. Never heard of a clothing exchange? Me either. So all the neighborhood women and girls picked a day and brought over some clothes and they put them all out and exchanged clothes. It was a lot of fun. Our daughter loved getting clothes from other girls her age, of course, grandma still bought her new clothes for school, but everyone loved exchanging them with friends. It was a fun idea and they are doing it again with winter clothes.
  5. More DIY projects around the house and yard – There is almost nothing you can’t find on YouTube on repairs. I had an issue during the summer with the water pressure upstairs. I called a plumber and he didn’t want to do it but said it is likely a pressure valve. I got the part and watched another repair video and made the installation and it worked! Saved us $200 from having a plumber come over and spend 2 minutes on the repair.
  6. Changed watering schedule – May not seem like a big deal but most people overwater their lawns. Water has very little to how the lawn will look, it is more on fertilizer or sprays and how you maintain it. Trust me I worked at a country club golf course for seven years. Water is the minimum. My neighbor waters every stinking day and has the worst lawn with a ton of weeds. We have the best lawn and easily save $30-50 each month over the neighbors. Measure and see how much you actually water and see if you are overwatering. I get asked at least once a week what my secret to my yard is and I always say the same thing, “water the minimum, spray or fertilize with the best stuff, and then poison parts of your neighbor’s yard to make yours look even better!” Just kidding about the last part, don’t do that. We had a real cold streak here lately and I turned my water off the last two weeks. My neighbors keep going each day. Pretty much like burning money in your yard…oh that might work better than poison for making dead spots…hmmm.
  7. Air conditioner – we have no issue with keeping the house a little warmer. We keep windows open at night to bring cool air in and keep window covers closed during the hot day. Compared to some folks we are $75-100 less on our monthly bill. Talked to one person and they said they can’t give up their cooler temperatures. Well, I can’t give up my money. It is all about choices at the end of the day. Utility bills really add up fast and are a quick way to help free up money.
  8. Swim lessons – Last year we paid for our daughter to have swim lessons. The teacher move away so this year instead of finding someone else my wife decided to try it out and our daughter turned into a fish. There were some tears and battles initially but now we can’t keep our daughter out of the pool. She loves to dive to the bottom and swim all the way across. My wife gets asked all the time to help others, but she politely declines so she can keep her sanity.
  9. Smaller birthday parties – again with our daughter helped us save some money. We asked what she wanted to do and she wanted to go to the zoo. We have season passes to the zoo and asked her who she wanted to invite and she said just two kids. She complained about too many kids at other parties and she wanted to go to the zoo and come home and have snow cones. We’ve noticed a trend with folks trying to outdo each other with parties and having Disney princesses, bounce houses, and professional invitations. I loved the idea that my daughter really just wanted her closest friends and to keep it simple.
  10. Walk or bike – We find that sometimes it is too easy to just hop in the car to get somewhere. It is okay to slow things down. I love to ride my mountain bike, I always have so I tried to ride much more this summer, especially around town. We turned Sunday into walk day and tried to only walk on this day and just leave the car in the garage and we did for the most part.
  11. Ask for a Raise – Okay I know the list said 10 but you should really get in the habit of asking for raises. You can do the list above and side jobs/hustles or whatever else you want to call them, but raises are the fastest way to increase your income. Do the same amount of work and get more money, yes, please! I asked and got another this summer. Once you get over the initial apprehension you’ll never look back. That made more than the other 10 on the list above….so what are you waiting for?

Small things add up to big things. Just a few small changes saved us $500 a month! It doesn’t really diminish your lifestyle and in fact, you can actually do other things because you are saving more money to use for bigger things later instead of just throwing away $10-20 on random things you don’t really need. By the end of summer, this added up to quite a bit. We are starting up a second round of selling items in our home and have another goal to make at least another $1,000 by the end of the year.

Do you have any tips for saving more during the summer season or how did you save money this summer?

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