Counter inflation with summer savings
As we move into the second half of 2022, consumer prices continue to rise(Opens in a new window). Households around the U.S. feel the strain of increasing grocery, gas, and everyday living costs.
We’ve all seen inflation take its toll this past year. You may feel like your summer plans and pocketbook are under attack. But all hope is not lost. We’re here to help you save your summer and your money.
Take a “Staycation”
One of the most common ways inflation hits people is in the need to “trade down.” This can affect brands and experiences alike. For example, you may start buying the generic brand at the grocery store or decide on a “staycation” instead of an epic road trip.
With gas prices at an all-time high(Opens in a new window), pivoting to a “staycation” instead of a traveling vacation can help you save significant money while still making summer memories. A summer vacation in your town provides fun for the whole family. Just switching up your routine a little bit can make your day or week feel special, without breaking the bank. Depending on your staycation itinerary, you’ll save on gas, lodging, and often food costs. Ideas for your staycation include:
- Visit new parts of town for the day
- Select one or two new experiences in your area that you’d like to try
- Hold a relaxing picnic at a local park and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air
- Go camping in your backyard
- Organize parties at a community pool
- Hold a water-filled field day in your yard or at a park
- Visit a local splash park
Challenge Yourself to Save
Summer can also give you time and inspiration to reset your financial goals or begin consciously saving. For those looking to save this summer, even in a time of inflation, consider the following:
- Challenge yourself to a no-spend month. Select a month this summer and try to keep your expenses as close to “essentials only” as possible. This will allow you to save money and see how many expenses you can cut out in the long term. Add your savings into a special savings account to see the fruits of your hard work. If you don’t want to set up a separate savings account, use an app to track your savings.
- Set monthly limits on eating out. If you find yourself eating out often, cut down on expenses and save money by eating at home. Set a limit, either the number of times you can eat out or the amount of money you can spend per month. Then stick to it. You may find that your wallet isn’t the only thing to reap the rewards of fewer meals out, your waistline may as well.
- Cut down on subscription services. Make an effort to cut down subscriptions where you can. These auto-renewing expenses can add up quickly and if you forget about or don’t use them, you may find you have subscriptions you haven’t looked at in months. Audit your subscriptions to see what services you use and don’t use. Then trim the fat to make a world of difference.
- Use your air conditioner intentionally. It’s easy to see your energy bill rise in the summer months when the weather gets hot. Review your electric bills to see what you’re spending and then intentionally set your thermostat to save on energy costs. A programmable thermostat can also be a great tool for saving money on energy bills. Set your temperature based on when you’ll be home. If you need a little extra boost of cool air consider running a ceiling fan.
Start a Side Hustle
In addition to saving money, summer can be a great time to generate additional income. Easier said than done, certainly. However, if you have time for a side hustle, you may be able to devote all of that income toward savings. This could give you more flexibility with your primary income.
Side hustles can come in many forms. Your side hustle could be a passion project or involve something you love to do. Selling goods on Etsy, baked goods, or homegrown flowers serve as passion projects for many. Your side hustle could also be as simple as driving for a ride-share or delivery service. You can set your hours and control the amount of money you make by taking jobs that meet your minimum earnings.
Check out Entrepreneur for a list of more than 50 side hustles(Opens in a new window) to consider. The publication’s ideas include ways to use your creativity, writing skills, and knowledge to help others while making/saving money for yourself.
The current economic situation can be tough. There are things you can do to mitigate the economic impact without giving up the things you enjoy. The ideas we’ve presented for ways to trade down, save money, and earn additional income will help you weather the storm.
For more information on how your house fits into the equation, contact your Guardian Mortgage professional(Opens in a new window). We’re here to help you make informed decisions about your home and your mortgage.
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