Five Ways You Can Save Money This Summer

August 3, 2009

Visit the Library

I’m not a big book reader, mostly because I don’t have much spare time.  I do most of my reading online where I can pick up small chunks of information pretty quickly.  My wife and son on the other had love books. 

If we had to pay for all the books that they read, especially during the summer, we’d have a pretty big credit card bill.  Instead, they head to the library once a week and stock up on loads of kids books for him and Oprah’s book club for her.  It can be hard to keep track of all those books so sometimes they have to pay late fees and once or twice had to buy a book outright but it still saves us hundreds of dolllars a year.

Free Movie Trials

I’ve written before about the competition between Blockbuster and Netflix and how you can benefit by signing up for both.  Basically you can get a Blockbuster free trial followed by a Netflix free trial and enjoy free movies this summer.

Enjoy the Outdoors

You don’t have to be a camping nut to save money by spending time outside this summer.  Before we had kids we’d hit the river for a canoe day trip with friends, ride our bikes to the park, or just grill out in a friends back yard.  Now we spend afternoons at sprinkler parks or the morning playing in a local creek, cheap fun and he loves it.

Home Improvement Referrals

Our neighbors just discovered a nasty water leak in their roof that’s been dripping down into the wall and has rotted out the wall, window frame, and some of the floor.  The previous neighbors discovered the leak and had someone out to look at it.  Apparently he applied a little caulk here and there without really addressing the issue and now they’re faced with major damage.

One of the best ways to find a contractor who will do a good job and not end up costing you money down the road is to get a referral from friends or family.  Another place you can turn is a service like Angies List.  Basically, its a service that has reviews of local contractors from customers that hired and worked with them.  It is a paid service but you can get discounts with Angies list coupon codes.

Shop Garage Sales

If you have kids, this is a tip you don’t want to ignore.  You can buy kids toys and clothes for pennies on the dollar at garage sales.  My son loves anything with wheels and the majority of his trucks, cars, etc came from garage sales.  Toys that cost $40 retail, we bought pretty much brand new at garage sales for a buck.

My wife also shops a season ahead and buys clothes for our kids.  I don’t know how well it works for older children but for kids 4 and under you can buy almost new clothes for dirt cheap.  Seriously, my wife came home with garbage bags stuffed full of kids clothes for $15.

Happy savings!


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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