Click inside for tips and resources to help save money throughout the summer. Watch videos and read stories on how to get the most gas for your buck, how to save money in the grocery store and how to invest for your family's future.
Along with the fun summer sun comes expensive gas prices, electric bills, car-maintenance needs and home costs. The sluggish economy isn’t helping our budgets, either.
Watch these videos on how to save money throughout the summer, and find tips and links to helpful websites below. Or check out related stories to the right.
Here are money-saving tips to consider and resources to use while keeping summer costs down:
At home. Whether you are married or not, it is crucial to have a discussion about finances if you're living with someone, according to www.BillCutterz.com, a great family resource for saving money inside the home. Even though it may be awkward, certain questions need to be answered: How are bills split? Will there be joint bank accounts? What are the long-term financial goals?
Another helpful resource is www.Frugaldad.com, which discusses how to save money and invest for your family’s future. For example, if possible, live off one person's paycheck each month and put the other in a savings account.
In the car. Road trips are common in the summer. To save money, pack snacks and drinks ahead of time, try to fill your gas tank on weekdays and don’t weigh down your car with too much stuff, suggests www.SpendLessTV.com, a website that shares tips and tricks to keeping auto costs at bay.
Also, keep an eye on gas prices in your area and at destination locations. A popular resource is www.Gasbuddy.com, where you can search for local gas prices in the U.S. and Canada.
Teach the kids. In a family, kids should be included in the money-saving effort. It is important for teens as well as younger kids to learn good money-saving and money-spending habits.
Motivation, financial guidance and business ideas for teens are discussed at www.WealthForTeens.com. For parents of younger children, www.CircleOfMoms.com is a social network site where parents can join in on conversations of any topic, including money-saving advice, post questions and answer parenting polls.
Electric bills. Energy consumption usually increases in the hot summer months, but you can do things to help keep electric bills as low as possible. For example, weather-strip exterior doors and windows to keep cool air from escaping, suggests www.EnergySavers.gov.
Another great resource is www.UtilityBillBusters.com, which is a blog dedicated to reducing heating and cooling costs, energy bills and implementing do-it-yourself energy projects, like solar panels or the latest energy-saving technology.
Cheap eats. Keep the grocery bill low by planning meals ahead of time, cutting coupons for items you already buy and staying on the outside aisles of the grocery store, which is where the fresh produce, grains and dairy products are located.
Bankrate.com has a detailed list of 20 money-saving tips inside a grocery store. When items go on sale is the best time to use coupons from the newspaper, shopper or online daily deals sites. RadarFrog, for example, offers daily local coupons for goods and services.
-- GateHouse News Service