Money at 30: How I’m Saving Money This Summer
The days are long, the movies are blockbusters, and it’s 119 degrees in Phoenix — summer is officially here. What better way to celebrate the summer solstice and the warm weather than talking about cold, hard cash? Just as I shared some season-specific ways I planned on saving money this past winter, today I thought I’d highlight my thrifty plans for the summer.
Here are some of the ways I’ll be saving money now through September:
Mixing business and pleasure
You don’t have to be or have kids to know that no summer is complete without a vacation. Over the next couple of months, I actually have two trips lined up: one to Toronto and one to the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Normally this would mean spending a ton on travel needs — not to mention the time off from work that could cut into your budget. But what makes these particular excursions affordable is that both are actually business trips.
Up in Ontario, I’ll be meeting with an author whose book I’m helping to publish and then I’ll be selling it (along with my own book) at the D23 Expo the following month. Thankfully, when the business part of each of these visits is done, I’ll have time to explore the great city of Toronto and the magic of Disneyland. While there are rules and guidelines for what you can classify as a business expense or trip, staying within these lines has allowed me to travel while saving money on my tax bill in the past and will once again this summer.
There’s something special about road trips, especially in the summer. Despite my slight aversion to driving when it comes to running day-to-day errands, I love getting behind the wheel and driving for hours on a road trip. Even stranger, once night falls, that’s my sweet spot; the weather is bit cooler, the stars are visible, and my iPhone’s playlists always manages to keep me company. Of course the other great thing about road trips (at least when you drive an efficient compact sedan like my wife and I do) is that it’s often cheaper than flying.
Although I am hopping on a plane for my California adventure, I’ll be riding solo in our Ford Focus up to Toronto. With gas averaging between $2 and $2.50 a gallon these days, I should be able to make it there and back for less than $200. As a result, choosing to hit the road instead the runway was a no-brainer this time around… even if I am a little nervous about driving outside of the U.S. for the first time.
Taking advantage of the amenities
A few months ago I wrote about how you could be wasting money if you’re paying for apartment amenities you don’t use. Well, with the weather now regularly reaching the 90s, one of those amenities is looking very attractive these days: the pool. Not only does taking a dip in our complex’s pool allow us to keep cool and even get some exercise but it also enables us to get our rent money’s worth.
Located right next to the pool is the grill, which has also been getting some love from us recently. Who needs to go out for barbecue when you can enjoy the great weather and grill your own food? Pro tip: grill some corn on the cob and dab it with a bit of Sriracha sauce. You’re welcome.
Between vacations, A/C, and the occasional (completely necessary) ice cream treat, summer is often one of the most expensive seasons, second only to the holidays. However, I’ll avoid some of the money pitfalls by throwing some business into my trips, hitting the road, and taking a dip in my already-paid-for-with-my-rent-money pool. So what are your summer saving plans?