Spring is the absolute best time of year. The flowers are blooming and the weather is warming. The gloominess of winter is making way for the abundant color of springtime. And, this is actually the best time of year to save some money.
Here’s how you can cut back on your expenses and save money this Spring.
Find cheap entertainment options. One of the best things about spring is that having fun with the family gets much cheaper. No one wants to have a picnic at the local park when it's freezing outside. Take advantage of this nice weather and go for family walks, make that picnic lunch, or get a nice game of wiffle ball going. Those are all free activities.
If you’re willing to spend just a little bit on entertainment - go see a baseball game. Three major league teams have cheap or free tickets (Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals, and San Francisco Giants). But your local minor league, college, or high school team could offer just as much family fun for an even cheaper price tag if you don’t live close to those MLB venues. Go support your local team!
Pack your lunch. So many good fruits and veggies are hitting your store shelves now. While packing your lunch is always a good idea, springtime makes that just a bit easier - and yummier. Cherries, strawberries, and sugar snap peas are great items to round out that lunch pail.
Do your own pest control. Bugs tend to be most intrusive in the spring and summer months. And most folks hire someone to take care of those pests for them. However, you can save a lot of money by doing pest treatments yourself. It’s incredibly easy and the time commitment is ultra-low. I have a full post on doing your own pest control and how it can save you hundreds of dollars every year. You can spray for those pesky mosquitos yourself!
Air dry your clothing. Hanging your clothes outside to dry saves you money in two ways! First, you won’t be making your house warmer. Using your range and dryer in the spring/summer only makes it harder to keep your house cool, therefore driving up your energy costs. Second, you won’t be using the actual energy that it takes to power your dryer. Hang your clothes outside and let Mother Nature take care of it!
Explore a new city. Uh, but that sounds expensive. Not if you do it the super cheap way! If you live anywhere near a Megabus or Bolt bus stop, consider planning ahead and grabbing tickets to a nearby destination for prices starting at $1. That’s the kind of springtime trip I can get behind!
Change your HVAC filter. So this’ll actually cost you around $10. But it will save you money in the long run. Don’t forget to change your filter every 3 months. Doing this will ensure that your HVAC isn’t working too hard which leads to higher energy bills and the increased possibility of a premature demise. Change that filter!
Fire up the grill. Grilling is a pretty cheap way to make dinner and it always seems to taste fantastic. As the weather warms, you don’t want to have the oven contributing to your already soaring electric bill. Fire up the grill on those beautiful nights instead and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors along with a perfectly grilled meal.
Spring clean in conjunction with Craigslist. Spring cleaning is an annual ritual for many of us. Don’t just junk your unused stuff though! Consider Craigslist as an option for gently loved possessions. eBay is a great place to sell your old books and DVDs. And Buffalo Exchange, the rapidly expanding used clothing seller, is a great place to make a few bucks on the clothing you aren’t planning on wearing anymore. Or you can donate it for that 2014 tax deduction.
Saving money this spring doesn’t have to be a painful exercise. Try to avoid expensive indoor entertainment options and enjoy the natural beauty that springtime provides instead!
How are you planning on saving money this Spring?
Joel Larsgaard loves saving money and drinking good beer. He's the founder of SaveOutsideTheBox.com, and a producer for The Clark Howard Show.
For further reading:
- Social media and smartphones make for a tame spring break
- Do a spring cleaning of your wallet and finances