Enjoy your SCV summer on a low budget
By Emily Alvarenga
Signage staff writer
As the state fully reopens and summer shifts into high gear, many of us can’t wait to get out there and go on an adventure after more than a year of pushback.
However, if you’re not careful, summer fun can get expensive.
Simply budgeting for travel expenses is one thing, but to better spend your money for maximum enjoyment, financial experts agree that there are other cost-saving measures you can take this summer. .
Whatever your budget, there are ways to save enough to have a fun summer and celebrate post-pandemic life, so here are some summer-saving tips from the Santa Clarita Valley financial experts.
Subscription services add up quickly
Whether it’s an online streaming service, food delivery service, beauty subscription, or even pet toys, these monthly options have exploded over the past year, in especially when most people were increasing their spending online.
These costs can add up quickly, especially when you lose track of the number of current subscriptions.
So take a look at your bank statement, make a list of each subscription service you pay for, and think carefully about how much you use or need each service. Chances are, many will be able to cut at least one or two subscriptions (or at least lower plans) and save a good chunk of change each month.
Track your spending
While similar to creating a budget, simply tracking expenses can be simpler and just as effective.
Using a spreadsheet or online banking tool to record your spending can make it easy for you to monitor where your money is going and where you can make cuts.
One financial strategy that anyone can use is the 50-30-20 approach. In the 50-30-20 approach, revenues are distributed based on this breakdown: 50% of the money is spent on needs, including housing costs, health insurance, car payments and the grocery store ; 30% is spent on necessities, including recreation, dining and travel; 20% of the money is allocated to savings.
Benefit from low interest rates
High interest rates can also add up, but luckily, these debts are often eligible for refinancing at a lower rate, which can help you save a good chunk of change in the long run.
Whether it’s taking out a new loan or using a credit card with balance transfer, which allows the borrower to transfer balances to the card and pay them off interest-free over a set period, borrowers must ensure that their new debt has a lower interest rate as well as less fees than their current loans.
Opt for free outings
A date night here, a night out with friends there, an outing can get pretty expensive.
Instead of spending money on admission tickets, look for free events, such as outdoor concerts, in-car movies, and tours to local museums or nature parks.
Concerts in the Park is a popular, free family outing every Saturday at 7 p.m. in Central Park.
Reduce energy costs
As the heat wave is sure to continue throughout the summer, there are actually a number of easy ways to save money on your air conditioning bill.
Keeping not only blinds and curtains closed during the day, but also doors and vents closed in rooms you don’t use could save you.
According to the US Department of Energy, 76% of the sunlight that hits standard double-glazed windows becomes heat when it enters your room.
You can even take it a step further by making sure you caulk your windows and doors so they’re sealed and your air conditioner doesn’t have to work overtime.
The Department of Energy also says that two of the best ways to reduce the amount of energy your home uses is to use less water and use a cooler water temperature.
It’s time to cut those coupons
Before you head to the store, compare the ads and coupons of your local grocery stores and plan your purchases around the items on sale.
Many of these stores now also have mobile apps, allowing convenient access to savings.
Cash back apps are also useful, as many of them provide consumers with rewards for simply shopping at their favorite stores.
Many also forget to take advantage of cash back rewards offered on credit cards, allowing cardholders to accumulate points for daily expenses, which can then be converted into certain items, or in some cases, cash. .
Cut down on dining out
Making your own meals is usually not only healthier, but a lot cheaper than eating out, so try to pack your lunch for work or even for road trips.
Preparing in advance can prevent you from buying overpriced foods or treats along the way.
Get off with DIY
Before calling the professionals, look for tutorials online to learn some of the basic do-it-yourself jobs and give them a chance to fix any issues that may arise.
Chances are, some fixes are easier than you might think – and cheaper, too.
Do some decluttering in the summer
Not only will cleaning the garage or your closet leave you more room for your activities, but if you then sell some things that you don’t want anymore, you can make a few bucks.
Whether you choose to have a good old-fashioned garage sale, sell things online or through apps, or take clothes to a consignment store, you’ll find yourself with some extra cash to spend.