Raising a family and saving money do not often go hand in hand, especially when the weather turns warm and school lets out for the summer. A 2014 survey by an American travel company noted that families tend to spend more during the summer months on vacations, travel, and hotels. These costs, combined with extra groceries and what it costs to cool a home during the summer, might have you feeling the pinch. However, putting away money now could mean a healthier summer budget later, and there are a few saving strategies you can use right away.
1. Plan Ahead
Once the summer begins, travel and amusement park deals can be hard to find. Prices increase and hotels fill up quickly, which means you might end up spending more if you buy tickets or reserve a hotel room right before you leave. To avoid last-minute fees, plan ahead as soon as possible. The earlier you plan, the more time you have to find online deals or group rates that can help you save money.
2. Use a Travel Agent
If you are planning an extensive summer vacation trip with the family, then consider using the help of a travel agent. These travel experts can save you time and money by doing most of your planning for you. For example, if you have a family of four and want to visit Disneyland and Universal Studios in the same trip, a travel agent can help you find a suitable hotel, flights, and car rentals, as well as all-inclusive deal that might help you save on your trip.
3. Have Your AC Serviced
If your home has central air conditioning, consider having the unit inspected and cleaned before you start using it for the season. Having it serviced may help it run more efficiently, and technicians may catch small issues before they come problematic during the summer months. Have the ductwork cleaned, as debris and dust may have built up over the winter that could affect its performance. Ask your AC professional how to program your air conditioner so it runs at peak efficiency; this could help you save on your energy bills.
4. Look for Savings in Your Insurance Costs
Keeping your car insurance current and your premiums affordable can be a constant balancing act. However, you may be able to find savings with a bit of detective work. Take the time to compare car insurance companies and to discover whether the one you are using offers you the most discounts and savings. Ask your local insurance agent if he or she knows of any savings the company might offer.
One way to save on insurance for your home, car, or other vehicle is to bundle them all under one monthly premium payment. Some insurance companies even offer discounts for this service, so if you plan on taking a boat, motorcycle, or recreational vehicle with you on a summer trip, bundling may be a way for you to save money on insuring them.
Saving money for the summer can be a challenge, especially if you are raising a family. However, taking the time to find savings around the house and for your travels could yield surprising results.