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Summer is a season that goes by all too quickly, but your money also flies out the door just as quickly!
Summer holidays are one time that people long to take the brakes off – and so they turn a blind eye to the large credit card bills that are racking up in the name of fun. Think long-term: Ultimately you will have more fun if you invest your money and resist burning through it on things that don’t really matter or can easily be avoided.
Here is a list of totally avoidable items that are going to make your money evaporate:
1. Bottled Water
According to Nedalee Thomas, chief executive officer of Chanson Water USA, a water-filtration company, a family of four spends a crazy $1,600 on bottled water a year. Many families tend to buy more bottled water “for convenience” when heading out for the day’s activities during summer. It’s far more cost-effective to acquire re-usable BPA-free bottles and canteens and then fill them with filtered water from home. A top-of-the-range filter such as the Big Berkey might seem expensive at $292 but if you think about the overall saving, it will pay for itself quite quickly and going on to save thousands of dollars over its lifetime – not to mention eliminating all that plastic pollution! Win win.
2. Buying Stuff You Never Actually Use
We’ve all done it – and the great problem with ultra-streamlined online shopping is that impulse purchasing has been given a quantum leap. A couple of clicks and it’s yours. The moment of enthusiasm wears off, perhaps even before it arrives… and it sits in a cupboard until you finally take it to Goodwill. The key? Just add it to your wish list or cart, and then wait a few days before checking out. I guarantee that much of the time you will end up shrugging your shoulders, removing it from the cart and saving your money for something more important.
3. Dining And Drinking Al Fresco
Al fresco (“in the fresh air” i.e. outdoor) dining is not often associated with affordable food and drinks. According to the website Crain’s, the licensing process for a sidewalk cafe is expensive, so do not expect “McDonald’s prices” for your al fresco lunch or dinner. The simple alternative to avoid eating and drinking at pricey restaurants is to make your own meals and have them on your own back porch – you could probably invite your friends round, eat something healthier and still save money!
Going to different places and experiencing new things with the people you care about are the main perquisites of traveling. But if vacation is merely an opportunity for you to spend quality time with your loved ones, there are other ways to go about this instead of spending big money to travel somewhere. You could forget hustling around airports for the meantime and work on things together such as enjoying a common hobby together, planning a more local adventure, or volunteering to help at charities or NGOs. Vacations are one of the biggest unneccessary expenses in most people’s lives. Thousands of dollars saved.
5. Summer Activities
Activities such as golf, summer camps, sports camps, shows or horse riding lessons could rack up your expenses along the way. To keep your kids active and entertained all season long, you could engage them in camping, building a backyard obstacle course, learning the basics of fishing, doing outdoor movie night at home, or going to a free concert in the park.
6. “Toys For Grown Ups”
For many, summer means renting (or buying) an RV or camper, blasting through the countryside on a quad bike, or experiencing the adrenaline rush of a sports car, jet ski or speed boat. These toys can easily cost thousands (or even millions in the case of supercars and yachts!) and in many cases, once you have done it a few times, you will probably get bored… and will have spent a huge amount of money on something you only use for 2 weeks of the year – and then sell a few years later for half of what you paid for it. Why not allocate the money to your savings account instead?
Going to a movie once or twice a week is another way to waste money this summer. Most cineplexes are attached to shopping malls, so seeing the latest blockbusters will inevitably lead to further expenses such as eating at a restaurant, parking fees or impulsive shopping.
8. Road Trips
In addition to gasoline prices, road trips often mean eating at restaurants, staying at hotels, or buying unnecessary purchases such as junk foods while traversing the land. According to the American Automobile Association, your car will need about $1,250 worth of gas to complete a cross-country journey. Road trips can be a lot of fun, but to minimize your expenses, make sure your car is in tip-top shape and stock up on reasonably-priced food before you go.
9. Air Conditioning
A/C is a notorious energy hog. However there are many alternate ways to gain cool air and keep out heat during the warm summer months. Some of them include opening your windows while sleeping and closing up the house when the sun is up, planting trees around the home to provide shade, operating your thermostat efficiently, and using fans to cool your home. You can also employ round-the-neck cooling devices – a simple cloth run under the cold tap, wrung out and placed around the neck has amazing cooling ability. Cost? Zero.
This one really bothers me. Why on earth people want to consume these exorbitantly overpriced, sickly-sweet, multi-colored beverages is beyond my comprehension.
Oh, the power of herd mentality. It’s brilliant marketing, you have to admit. People do it because they think it makes them cool, trendy, exotic and sophisticated. Is it sophisticated? I promise you that you are more sophisticated when sober – and when rich, which is one thing you will not be if you make a habit of drinking cocktails!
Think of it this way: Take that $20 you were going to piss away on a cocktail and invest it in something that earns a passive yield. That $20 is now going to be working for you for the rest of your life. That’s right. You turned that $20 into a slave that will bring you money forever. You took a step towards being rich and free.
Except you didn’t. You wasted it on cocktails. Back to work then!