Summer is here and, like most of us, your plans this season might look a little different than they did a few months ago. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a sudden halt on regular travel plans, and many other aspects of our day-to-day lives. Knowing this, you might already be saving money simply from holding off on travel or major gatherings this year.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, there are still plenty of other ways to save this summer. And some of the best strategies to save require the least amount of effort. Here are some money-saving tips while you stay safe and socially distant at home.
1. Enjoy the natural sunlight ☀️
Summer days are usually brighter than the gloomy winter ones, so take advantage of this by enjoying natural sunlight whenever you can. Not only will it help you save on electricity costs, but the Vitamin D boost can be a welcome alternative to harsh indoor lighting.
If you’re working from home and have a backyard or patio, getting outdoors can also be a good opportunity to switch up the scenery of your work desk or office. Whether you sit outside in a lawn chair to check your email or take a 20-minute stretch break, the natural light might be just what you need to power through the rest of the day.
2. Lower your utility bill 💡
When the weather heats up and you’re indoors, you might be tempted to crank the A/C to keep the house cool. Even though this feels like a good idea at the time, the bill that comes along with that sweet, frigid air might not feel worth it after the fact. Depending on where you’re located, though, the midday heat can feel simply unbearable—so it makes sense to save the cost of A/C for those peak hours, and try to keep it off during early morning or overnight to conserve energy.
To save even more, service providers like Arcadia Power allow you to connect your utility bill to a free account and monitor the market for lower energy rates. With no fees and no contracts, it’s a simple, low-maintenance option to consider to stay on top of your summer utility bills.
3. Plan a week of vegetarian meals 🥗
For regular or occasional meat-eaters, another way to save money is to choose one week of the month to go vegetarian. Meat products tend to be more expensive than fruits and vegetables, so this can be a low-maintenance way to free up a little room in your food budget.
An added benefit of going without meat for a few days? It can be healthier and give you even more energy to get through your daily routine. If you like it enough, you might decide to go vegetarian or vegan for longer!
4. Negotiate on rent 🏠
Summer is typically a busy season for moving and – if your lease ends over the next couple months – this could be the perfect time to see if you can save on your monthly rent payment. Try touching base with your landlord or management company to see whether there are any discounts available if you plan to renew.
While you’re at it, now’s also a good time to sign up with a service like LevelCredit. This consumer data reporting company tracks your monthly rent payments and reports them to all three credit bureaus. If your landlord agrees to a lower rent payment, you could enjoy the savings while benefiting from building your credit.
5. Go for long walks 🚶♀️🚶♂️
You probably haven’t been driving much for the past couple months while shelter-in-place orders were in effect. Now that some businesses are starting to reopen, though, this could mean you’re back to a regular commute and more hours in traffic.
Even if this is the case, you can still make a point to take walks whenever you can—not only for the exercise, but also to save a bit on gas costs when possible. If your job location or errand of the day is close enough and safe, consider walking once a while, instead of driving.
Put your summer savings to work 💪
Once you’ve saved money over the summer with these low-maintenance tips, you’ll need somewhere to keep your extra cash. The best way to get the most use out of your savings is to open a no-fee bank account. Anything you’ve been able to set aside can go toward extra debt payments, emergency savings, or even better, your next post-pandemic vacation!