Post by Contributing Writer, Rachael.
The month of April signifies the final thaw and the emergence of spring here in the Midwest. As much as we look forward to spring we are really just waiting for summer. Vacations, days at the zoo and kids with much simpler schedules.
An approaching summer also means more money will be spent. Most of us are more likely to eat out, take a trip or buy something new. In order to experience a financially stress-free summer, prepare with spring savings!
- Finances: Warm weather means instant savings in a couple key areas. Heat and Electricity. Our heating bill drops by about $30 and our electric by $10-12. Take your savings and put it in a “summer fun fund” or your emergency fund. $40 may not seem like a lot every month but if you save through June you will have $120 saved and ready to get your summer off on the right foot.
- Belongings: Unplug! How many items in your home do you currently have plugged into an outlet? Think about computers, cell phones, T.V., hair dryers, etc.
Don’t overwork your things and save money at the same time. Consider putting the hair dryer away for the spring and summer and air drying. Charge your phone until it is 100% and then put all the chargers away. Step away from the computer and turn it off – go outside and enjoy the spring air!
- Finances: Sell It…or in this case, change it. Spring is a time for DEALS! The end of the first quarter puts a lot of financial institutions and large companies into sale mode for the 2nd Quarter and Memorial Day weekend.
Take time to seek out a better deal for your finances. A bank with fewer fees, a cell phone plan with a lower rate or a trading company with cheaper buy/sell options. See last month’s post for more ideas on this topic. Grab the change you save and put it toward something fun this summer!
- Belongings: A lot of us embark on the annual task of Spring Cleaning. This year take a full assessment of what you have and take the time to sell items of worth. Last year our family made almost $200 by selling kids clothes and maternity clothes that we no longer needed.
Many places have access to Craigslist for larger items, eBay for unique/desired items or try thredUP for exchanging kids clothes. If you are in a smaller town or city consider having a yard sale or consigning items at a location near you (often, spring is a time for children’s item consignment sales events).
- Finances: Donate it! If you have items that you cannot sell or just don’t have the time consider donating it. Many places including Salvation Army and Vietnam Veterans of America will pick items up at your home. Crisis Pregnancy Centers are often looking for maternity or baby items, too.
How will this help you save for summer? Both these organizations, along with many others, will provide a receipt for tax deduction! By donating in spring, you help organizations in need and keep your finances on track for the year.
- Belongings: Is there something you own that you can either rent out or use to make a few extra dollars? I know someone that has an embossing machine for her business. She will teach you how to use it and then “rent” it to you by the hour to do your project. She will also do your project for you for a fee. She doesn’t do this all year but as she prepares for special seasons (Christmas, Summer and Vacation) she shares her time and equipment to help build up her fun fund!
I have another friend who is spending 6 weeks of her time as a “garden attendant” for her neighbors. She is watering plants, pulling weeds and helping her neighbors get their spring flowerbeds and gardens off to a great start. Look around and see what you can share and make a profit on!
Don’t let the opportunity for spring savings pass you by! Commit to living simple, smart and frugal and prepare to enjoy your first summer of success!
This post is part of Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.
Rachael shares financial tips from her kitchen table surrounded by her two active toddlers and her husband. God has called her from corporate life into His grace as an at-home wife! She shares about her passion for motherhood and life five days a week at To Be a Mom…
If you have a financial question or topic you would like us to discuss leave a comment or send us an email!
Michele’s note: We will not be doing a “Weekend Inspiration” post this weekend. We just returned from a week of traveling, and I didn’t do any online reading! The inspirations will return next week, since many of you said it’s one of your favorites. Thanks!