Simple Ways to Save This Summer


Be happy with what you have.

That’s one of the best ways to save money, according to my dad.

He used to employ that line a lot when I was in high school trying to pump him for money to buy designer jeans.

Twenty years later, I see his point. When you stop looking for fulfillment in material things, it’s much easier to spend less money and find contentment in the items you already have.

Of course, if you just lost 20 pounds and your pants don’t fit any more, then by all means, spend, spend, spend.

Now that summer is here I am looking for ways to spend less in other areas, because I know my air conditioning will be working overtime this year. I’m no Merlin, but if this week is any indication of what’s to come in the weather department, we’ll be lucky if we turn off the air and open a single window all summer.

For the last 9 days we’ve hit the 90 degree mark five times.

It’s May; we don’t typically see 90 until mid-July.

According to my local electric company, almost half the energy used in an average size home goes toward heating and cooling. Consequently, even the smallest adjustments in temperature can make a huge difference in your bill. For example, did you know that turning up your air conditioner by only one degree, can potentially save you hundreds of dollars? My energy company included a pamphlet with last month’s bill which states that if I change my thermostat from 69 to 70 degrees, it’s possible to save three percent on my utility bill. Another way to save is to invest in a programmable thermostat, and then learn how to use it properly. When used correctly, a programmable thermostat can save you up to $180 per year.

Finally, if you love the heat, then make the most of Mother Nature’s summer gift. Keep your air conditioner off, and open the windows instead. When the temperatures soar, but you still can’t bring yourself to turn on the air, reach for a fan and suck on some ice.

What are some cheap ways you beat the heat?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.