All Articles

Summer Savings 101

Author: Financial Success | Image: Financial Success

Finals week is here and you know what that means -summer is just around the corner! With summer travel plans, upcoming events, and for some, moving costs for their new jobs, this season tends to be an expensive one. Take our advice on how to save some green this summer!

1. Grow Your Own Food

Growing your own food can really cut down on grocery bills. Growing your own food isn’t just for hippies and retirees – see how easy it is to start your own garden (you don’t even need a yard!). Growing your own produce is cheap, and it tastes better. Of course, if gardening isn’t your forte, make friends with green-thumbed neighbors who will give or sell you their excess produce. Farmers markets are also a great alternative, since they are cheaper and carry some of the freshest produce available. As always try to meal prep during the summer to cut down on going out to eat, which can add up in a hurry! 

2. Summer Fun

For concert tickets and sporting events, we recommend downloading the app GameTime. They make it easy to get the best prices on last-minute tickets to events in your area – including Iowa Wild Hockey or Iowa Cubs baseball in Des Moines! Most last minute event deals can be as low as $6/ticket. If you frequent a water park or pool in the summer, consider buying a season pass instead of buying individual passes every time. In some cases, you may be able to use your student ID card to score student discounts. It doesn’t hurt to ask, so use the student ID to your advantage! When going on summer vacations, try to avoid all the expensive food that comes with traveling. Consider packing lunches and snacks for your road trips, and forgo buying food at the airport if possible. Hotel/Airbnb costs, airfare, car rental, gasoline and other trip expenses can add up quick, so saving on food is a must!

3. Savvy Wedding Guest

With summer comes another popular season…wedding season. Whether you’re invited to a few weddings this summer, or maybe you’re in a few weddings this summer, it can be expensive. As a bridesmaid or groomsmen, make sure to get fitted properly so you can avoid extra alteration costs. When it comes to being part of a wedding, DIY everything. That means do your own hair, make up, and even party decorations if you are in charge of planning wedding festivities. If you can, borrow shoes from a friend and go in on a wedding gift together.  Try to book your travel ASAP, too. The faster you look into travel, the more you’ll be able to avoid last minute booking fees. To easily save money on the day of the event, consider sharing a hotel room with friends to split up the lodging costs. 

4. Monthly Bills

While we have all been long awaiting the warm summer days, we will start seeing higher electricity bills. Consider limiting your AC use to the time of day when you need it most. When you’re doing something that involves sitting still, like watching TV, turn on a fan rather than AC. (Freshmen who have lived in older dorms know what it’s like to live with a fan and no air conditioning!) When you leave the house, turn the AC down so it doesn’t run during the day while no one is home. In addition, make sure the air filters in your air conditioning unit are clean – dirty ones will make your system work harder than it needs to, costing you money. If you don’t know how to do this, be sure to check with your landlord. 

5. Moving Costs

While warmer temps and longer days may make summertime the best time to move for most, its steep moving prices are often a serious deterrent for many. From moving companies and moving containers to truck rentals to storage facilities, most moving services are in high demand during the summer months making them especially expensive (and sparse!) from May to September. If your lease is ending this summer and you’re planning to make a long distance move, consider getting quotes from multiple moving companies. This will ensure you receive the best price and services available. 

Wishing all of our students a safe, fun and savvy summer!