For children and adults alike, a significant portion of the year is spent anticipating the summer and all that the warm months bring. But far too often for parents, the magic of summer can be overshadowed by something else: the cost of it.
Whether it is summer camp, family vacations, or even utilities, ensuring your child is occupied for the stretch when they are not in school can cost a pretty penny. But that does not have to be the case as there are a number of ways to start cutting into that expense by getting some help from your kids. Not only are these easy ways to save, but some could also even lend towards memories your children will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Turn Out The Lights
Many of us can recall the instances in which our parents scolded us for leaving lights on in empty rooms. And though times may change, this habit somehow manages to find its way to children everywhere. Just as your parents did, reiterating that leaving lights on unnecessarily is important. The same goes for other electronics we have including televisions, computers, phones, and video game consoles. Figuring out just how to get your kids to turn out the lights is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save electricity. There are some ways to really hammer the point home, like by making it a job that rotates weekly among your children. Even more compelling is giving it financial consequences, as you can charge your kids the difference between the typical bill and the one they incur or give them a piece of the money you save from their reduced energy consumption. Though there are many methods for doing it, finding what works for your family will prove advantageous for your savings.
Many local communities will encourage kids to spend their summers reading as a means of keeping their minds active in the stretch without school. While this may seem like a good way to keep children busy, it actually has some money-saving benefits that you may want to consider. While your kids read, they are cutting off the energy consumption that they often do throughout the day. This will start cutting into the summer energy expense. To save even more, you can tap into the fact that books can be taken virtually anywhere and encourage your kids to read outside. And for those with a library card, the reading does not have to end as your kids can access thousands of books free of charge. Some libraries even offer DVDs as well, meaning there is another way to do some saving this summer.
Alternative Means of Transport
In the past, the main method kids used to get around in the summer was by walking or riding a bike. As time has gone by, we have gradually begun to rely more and more on automobiles for transportation. But the summer weather presents the perfect opportunity to leave the car in the garage and travel by bike or on foot. And for kids who may have their sights set on nearby destinations, you can save yourself the cost of gas by allowing them to make the journey themselves. This is better for slightly older kids and will give them a taste of independence while also providing them with an easy means of exercising. Even better, relying on walking or biking reduces the impact of our carbon footprint, so you’ll be saving money as you save the environment.
Take Shorter Showers
It’s easy to forget just how big a role the hot water heater plays in our everyday lives. From the sinks to the laundry machine and dishwasher, this appliance provides a warm supply of water upon demand. A huge portion is devoted to the shower where we use up gallons of hot water in a matter of minutes. And the longer we remain within the shower, the more energy the water heater has to use in order to maintain the temperature. In doing its job, the heater is the source of the second largest expense within our homes. While the temperature on the heater can be turned down to save money, making sure your kids are in and out in a timely manner, among other things, is another way to put some money back into your wallet.
Vampire energy is a term that refers to the energy usage that is done by electronics that have been powered off but remain plugged in. Though it may not seem like a device that is off could use a lot of energy, in reality, vampire energy is believed to count for as much as one-fifth of the monthly electricity bill which can translate to several hundred dollars of spending each month. This vampire can be slain by simply unplugging your electrical devices once you have finished using them. It is important to alert your kids to this because often children will leave fully charged devices left plugged in, costing you. To help you can utilize power strips which can power a number of electronics. When kids are finished with their devices or just before bedtime you can have them unplug the strip, which will cut off the power to all devices simultaneously.
Guest post by Douglas Keller
About the Author
Douglas Keller has been a financial expert for 20 years, helping people to reach financial stability. He now provides personal finance tips on his blog Peak Personal Finance, where he helps people save money on their bills every month.
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