Summer. It’s a time for fun, relaxation—and bursting budgets. From higher energy costs to vacations, spending can skyrocket during the summer months. Here are 6 ways to save on common summer expenses:

  1. Reduce Cooling Costs
    Electricity usage tends to peak in the summer months mostly because of air conditioning. You might be surprised how much you can save by cutting down on your energy usage. Do you adjust your thermostat regularly? You could cut cooling expenses as much as 10 percent just by raising inside temperatures 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day. Turn up the thermostat about 4 degrees without sacrificing comfort. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to help. Put in a ceiling fan to cool hot air as it rises inside your home. Putting portable fans throughout your house is another a good way to reduce air conditioner usage.
  2. Keep Kids Active for Less
    Every summer, parents spend an average of $314 per week on summer camp activities to keep their kids busy. Consider a few different options. Plan an indoor campout, which is a great way to get young ones excited about the next family camping trip. And, don’t forget to check out local community centers and online bulletin boards for other cost-saving activities.
  3. Plan a Thrifty Summer Trip
    Everyone enjoys big summer trips with the family, but they can be pricey. Airfare alone costs $343 per person on average—that’s almost $1,400 for a family of 4! Cut costs by visiting more affordable tourist spots. Nearby state parks are a great choice. Drive to the local beach or buy tickets to off-season vacations like Florida, which tend to cost less during the summer months. Consider visiting family. You’ll have a free place to stay and create lasting memories with grandparents and cousins.
  4. Cook More at Home
    When the weather is warmer, everyone enjoys socializing and dining out more. According to a recent Zagat survey, the national average spent per person on a dinner out is $36. Take advantage of mild summer weather and host cookouts and potluck parties. Potluck style is easy and costs less—allowing friends to share in meal prep and reduce time and money spent by everyone.
  5. Skip the Initial Theater Release
    Summer is blockbuster movie season, and people seek the coolness of the theater to enjoy the latest features. Average ticket prices are over $9.11 per person, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. The cost of 2 or more tickets combined with concession snacks can add up, but there are lots of alternatives. Enjoy the big-screen experience for less by seeking free movies in the park. Bring your blanket, lawn chairs and snacks—and you’re all set! There are also lots of matinee options to keep your wallet in check.
  6. Cut Back on Driving
    Fuel prices inevitably increase in summer, so even if you’re driving the same distance, it will cost more. This summer, consider carpooling or using public transit to save some money. Check out bike-share and scooter options when traveling within or near a city.

Plan Ahead
As you plan for the summer months and other big-ticket items during the year, consider making regular deposits into a Navy Federal Credit Union savings account. Combining these savings tips with a new way to save allows you to think ahead and prepare for more fun with the family—all without breaking the bank.