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After a snowy, cold winter and a spring filled with heavy rain and thunderstorms, it’s no surprise that Kentuckians are welcoming the arrival of summer. With that excitement, however, comes the temptation to overspend. Between rising gas and grocery prices, vacations, and extra expenses for summer outings such as golf, the community pool, or summer camp, it can be easy to splurge. Learning simple ways to stretch your dollar will help your family enjoy the decadence of summertime without breaking the bank.
If it is time for a new air conditioner, shop for an energy-efficient model. You can compare models by looking for the Energy Star logo and Energy Guide labels. Remember, a bigger unit is not necessarily better. Figure out how many square feet you are trying to cool, and find a unit that is recommended for that size.
As you are planning your summer activities, look in other areas of your life for ways to save money. If you can save a couple of dollars every week by taking your lunch to work or checking books out from the library as opposed to buying them, then that money can be spent on a fun summer outing. America Saves provides the following chart to help you find money to save.
•Save $0.50 a day in loose change. Monthly savings of $15; yearly savings of $180.
•Cut soda/pop consumption by one liter a week. Monthly savings of $6; yearly savings of $72.
•Bounce one less check a month. Monthly savings of $20; yearly savings of $240.
•Pay credit card bill on time to avoid late fee. Monthly savings of $25; yearly savings of $300.
•Pay off $1000 of credit card debt, reducing interest. Monthly savings of $15; yearly savings of $180.
•Comparison shop for gas (saving an estimated $.25/gallon). Monthly savings of $4; yearly savings of $48.
•Borrow, rather than buy, one book a month. Monthly savings of $15; yearly savings of $180.
•Eat out two fewer times a month. Monthly savings of $30; yearly savings of $360.
•Bring lunch to work (saving an estimated $3/day). Monthly savings of $60; yearly savings of $720.
Written by Jennifer Hunter, Source America Saves, http://www.americasaves.org/enroll/findingmoney.asp
Jane Proctor is Trimble County’s Cooperative Extension agent for family and consumer services.