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Enjoy Summer (or What’s Left of It) Without Breaking the Bank

Enjoy Summer (or what's left of it) without breaking the bank

The summer months are busier than ever. There are just so many fun activities to fill the season! If you’re like us, you can’t get enough of cabin time and lake fun. Summer is special! But the busier you are, the easier it becomes to lose sight of your budget and savings goals. The shortest of Minnesota seasons can set you back financially – if you let it.
Here are some budget-minded tips to help you enjoy what’s left of summer without breaking the bank:
Be alert to energy savings opportunities
During the hot and muggy stretches of summer when your air conditioner runs 24/7, a clean air filter helps it run more efficiently. This summer, when smoke from Canadian wildfires impacted air quality statewide, your filter probably trapped a lot of particulates. Experts advise changing your air filter frequently during periods of heavy pollution.

If you rely on air conditioning, be mindful of the sun’s impact on your home. Keeping your blinds drawn on sunny days can make a huge difference in how hard that air conditioner has to work to keep the house cool.
If your home has ceiling fans, keep them moving. A combination of ceiling fans and blocked sun might make you comfortable enough indoors that you can set your air conditioner a few degrees higher.
You can save money on heating your water by reducing the temperature of your summertime showers and washing clothes using cold water.
If it’s time to replace your air conditioner or water heater with an energy-efficient model, reach out to one of our Star Bank lenders to ask about a home equity line of credit.
Take a Bite Out of Food Inflation
Late summer is a foodie’s bliss. Visit your local farmers market or farm stand to find a bountiful supply of homegrown corn, beans, tomatoes, melons, and very soon, apples. Many markets also feature craft items (think early Christmas shopping) and activities for the kids.
Save money by stocking up! Lots of market produce is easy to freeze (or dry or can) for winter enjoyment. Ask your farmer, or Extension Agent, for advice.
Save on Back-to-School Shopping
Most schools begin classes before Labor Day. That means back-to-school shopping is in full swing NOW.
Contact your local school for a shopping list and hit the sales. You can save money by shopping sales even if it means visiting three or more stores. You can save more by buying in bulk. Reach out to other families to pool your resources.

If you don’t have children in your home but want to help a family in need, you can drop donated school supplies at your local food bank.

A tried-and-true budget-friendly way to expand your child’s wardrobe for school is to shop thrift stores and garage sales. This is an activity that can be done year-round and, like a treasure hunt, can be really fun.
Sticking to a budget during the busy summer days can be challenging, but it’s important to not let the fun you’re experiencing now derail progress toward your financial goals. As always, reach out to Star Bank for guidance on how to make the most of your finances. We’re here to help!