Tag Archive for summer

5 Ways to Save on Your Summer Bills

5 Ways to Save on Your Summer Bills

5 Ways to Save on Your Summer BillsSummer can quickly become one of the more expensive times of the year. Between pool passes, vacations, grilling out, fireworks and more, your wallet can get a bit crunched.

Not to mention that your bills can go up as well. Air conditioning, watering the lawn/garden, new construction, whatever, start to add up as well. Here are some ways you can?lower your summer bills.

Get an Energy Audit

An energy audit?is especially important for home owners. If you rent your place, you can talk to your landlord about getting this done. An energy audit is when your energy company comes in to access how efficient your appliances are and where there is drafting.

Drafting allows heat and cool air to escape throughout the year. Knowing this can save you money once those problem areas are addressed. Also, there are energy rebates that can be applied to help pay for the energy fixes you might have to do.

Buy a New Thermostat

Let’s get real. Your house doesn?t need to be 65 degrees all the time. Instead, try using a [easyazon_link keywords=”programable thermostat” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”wisedollar-20″]programable thermostat[/easyazon_link]. It can help you set what temperature your house is at. If you are away from your home all day, you can set you?re air conditioner high during the day and then have it turn down an hour before you get home, so the place is cool.

Some air conditioning systems allow you to control the individual rooms in your house so if you don?t use half of your house regularly you can keep those rooms at a higher temp and not use as much energy.

Get a Rain Barrel

If you are a big gardener whether with flowers or vegetables, you?ll use a lot of water this summer. This can push your water bill over the edge. By getting a rain barrel you can save some money by watering from the barrel and not the city water. Also, there are some energy rebates?you may be able to use to help cover a portion of the cost of a rain barrel.

Use a Pool Cover

Summer means swimming and if you have a swimming pool in your back yard you are one of the cool kids! A lot of water is used for a pool or hot tub. Filing them, or even just topping them off, will add to your water bill like crazy.

It’s estimated that households that don?t use a pool cover use over 1,000 extra gallons a month. You add up that cost. It’s obvious that a pool cover can save you money.

Grow Your Own Veggies

When you go to the grocery store, what are the two most expensive things? Meat and fresh produce. But, if you grow your own, produce is?basically free. Of course, it does cost a fair amount for soil, seeds, plants, water and fertilizer. But, in the long-term, running outside to pick your own tomatoes for guac will save you money.

Summer is supposed to be a time for fun, not a time for worrying over how you are going to pay the increases in your bills. Even by holding out on turning on the air conditioner, can save you money. People lived for thousands of years without one. With some determination and smart planning, you can keep from overspending on your summer bills.


What are some ways you save during the summer? Have you done any of these things to lower your summer bills?


Photo courtesy of: RitaE

6 Summer Side Hustles to Make You Extra Money

6 Summer Side Hustles to Make You Extra Money

6 Summer Side Hustles to Make You Extra MoneyAhh, summer! Days are long and the evenings short. More daylight means more time to do things, right?

Summer means vacations and vacations cost money. Summer can also cost you in extra outdoor activities and fireworks. With all these extra activities, you might need a little more money to help offset costs.

Besides asking for a raise or getting a second job, getting extra income isn?t a spontaneous thing. Good thing you can work some side gigs to bring in some extra cash. Here are a few summer side hustles you can use to make extra money.

Mow Lawns

If you have a mower handy and don?t mind trimming the lawn you can mow your neighbors? lawns for money. A lot of people dread this chore and/or don?t have time to spend an hour or two doing it. This is pretty easy and you can set your price within reason.

House Sitter

With a lot of people going away on vacation they need someone trustworthy to water the garden and feed the pets. You can start small with friends and work up your reputation and credibility. Just be sure to leave the place better than you found it and don?t break anything.

Become an Umpire

If you love sports you can become certified to umpire or ref recreation games. These positions don?t make a ton of money but you can bring in a bit, especially if you work a tournament or two. It?s a great way to also get involved within your community.

Life Guard

Knowing how to swim can save your life and the life of others. If you are comfortable with your swimming prowess you can apply to be a life guard either at a community swimming pool or lake area. You can also teach swimming lessons to make extra money.

Babysit or Nanny

With the kids out of school for the summer, their parents need extra hands to help watch them and get them to and from summer activities. Being a temporary nanny or part-time help can be a great money maker, but only if you like children. If you like it enough you could consider nannying full-time.

Detail Vehicles

Though cars don?t tend to get as dirty as they do in the winter, they somehow manage to collect dust and mud. Having an eye for detail and a passion for cars, you could charge a fee to wash and vacuum cars out.

The possibilities are endless! The long days and gorgeous evenings lend themselves to being more productive and bring in a few more dollars for your bank account. Side hustles can be done at any time of the year, but summer lends itself to more options.

If your summer side hustles grow and become more of a part-time business, be sure you are claiming the extra income and keeping track of business expenses to write off for tax purposes. Who knows, your summer side hustles could become your next career move.


What side hustles do you chose to do during the summer? Can you think of other good summer side hustles?


Photo courtesy of: andreas160578

Should Your Teenager Pay Their Own Summer Camp Fees?

Should your Teenager Pay Their Own Summer Camp Fees?

Should your Teenager Pay Their Own Summer Camp Fees?Remember that one time at band camp? Some of the best stories of our youth come from summer camp.

There are a multitude of camps that range from day camps, to weekends and even month-long camps. The camps range from sports, to performing arts, to your everyday outdoor activity camps.

The overly ambitious could send their child or teenager to a camp every day and still not run out of camps. The cost of summer camp is not cheap though, especially when it comes to specialty camps, such as a some sports?camps or special interests like space camp.

Because summer camp can be costly,?should you make your teen pay their own camp fees? Or should you be responsible for camp fees for your teens? Here are some?reasons why your teen should pay for their own summer camp fees.

Why Your Teen Should Pay for Summer Camp Fees

There are some great lessons to be learnt by making your teen pay for summer camp?themselves.

First of all, it shows they want to further their talents or skills. If they are truly interested in their camp topic, they?ll want to find a way to pay for their summer camp fees.?By finding a way to pay for camp, they prove that they will care about it and truly value the experience. Plus, it may mean they are?starting to figure out who they are and what they care to do.

Having your teen pay for their own summer camp teaches them initiative and rewards them for saving for a goal. By not giving into your teen?s pleas to pay the fees for them, they?ll learn several money lessons. These will come in handy later in life as they save for a car, college, a house, a trip and more.

As it will probably take them a while?to save up for summer camp,?they?ll also learn about time management and proper planning. These are great life skills to have them learn earlier rather than later.

Your teens will also feel?a sense of accomplishment for their hard work. With the current generation being often?reprimanded for their seemingly lack of hard work, learning that hard work can be rewarding is a great life lesson.

Loaning Money to Your Teen

Another way to teach your teen responsibility is by loaning them the money for summer camp fees. If you go this route, make sure you have a payment plan in place that they agree to up-front. This will help them understand the importance of paying back loans on time, or the consequences if they don?t.

Splitting the Bill With Your Teen

Another option to consider is splitting the cost of summer camp with your teen. Because some camps can be very expensive, it may not be realistic to expect them to pay for the camp fees entirely on their own.

Also, if they don’t know about a camp until just a few weeks before, it could be difficult for them to save that amount in a short time, especially if they are too young to get a summer job.

Splitting the bill teaches them to keep their word. There needs to be consequences if they don’t pull?their weight.

When I was in high school, I split the cost of summer camp with my parents willingly because I truly wanted to go.

Making your teen pay for at least part of their own camp fees teaches them many life lessons. The benefits of attending camp as a teen can have a huge impact on their future, both in developing skills and in learning to navigate on their own. Having them foot their own bill to attend camp further adds to these lessons.


Do your teens pay for their own summer camp fees? Why or why not?


Photo courtesy of: SeppH