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Ruedi: Great ways to save money this summer

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Reviewing your budget is great, but sometimes you want to cut down on your spending a bit to make room for something more important.

Summer is one of those seasons when people notoriously overspend. Between celebrating the warm weather and with the kids on break, activities become more frequent, and vacation turns into a top priority.

Balance your bump in summer spending with these easy ways to save money.

Stop paying a premium for your groceries

There was definitely a time when finding affordable groceries was easy. But those days are over. Your favorite food items are not only expensive but difficult to find on many store shelves because of the supply crisis.

Which grocery stores should you avoid? Some local shops with limited inventory tend to price their items higher than chains and a recent study found that Whole Foods was the most expensive grocer in the United States.

Compare prices in your area or online to significantly shave down your grocery bill. Do not hesitate to read the weekly ads and search for coupons. They are out there; it just takes a bit more work.

Turn your air conditioner off when you’re not home

This summer is predicted to be unusually hot, and your electricity bill is guaranteed to rise with the temperature. Keep costs under control by turning your thermostat up or turning the air conditioning off every time you leave the house.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.”

Most modern thermostats have a feature that allows you to program a schedule to automatically adjust your cooling settings while you’re away, like during the workday. For unplanned outings, just consider an additional step of turning off the lights. It may seem inconvenient at first but will soon become as natural as flipping that switch.  

Get on a family mobile plan

You could be paying two to three times as much to have an individual phone plan as you would with a family plan. Adding yourself as an extra line to a family member’s plan could likely cut your phone bill in half -- or more!

If you’re married and you and your partner haven’t made the merge yet, this summer is a great time to make moves. Rather than scrolling through Instagram on an overpriced data plan, why not save a few bucks each month and put those funds towards a real-life adventure?

And if you’re single, you can still cash in on this tip. While it may seem awkward to share a phone plan with your mom at this age, it’s really not that big of a deal. Just set up a recurring deposit into Mom’s account each month and you’ll still be paying your way 100%.

Sign up for price alerts on your top summer destinations

Do you have your heart set on a summer getaway? Travel search sites like Kayak that let you sign up for price alerts to notify you when airfare costs drop. Just narrow down the list of where you want to go and when, and you’ll receive an email if prices go down. If paying a low price is your top priority, create a few possible itineraries and go with whichever rings in at the lowest cost.

While booking a spontaneous flight can be fun, it often results in overpaying for your vacation. Trust in technology to find the cheapest airfare for your next trip.

John Ruedi is a regional marketing specialist with Savant Wealth Management in Bloomington.



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