How Your Kids Can Help You Save In The Summer
With the sweltering heat and long lazy days at home, it’s natural to find that by the end of the summer you have had to dish out a little more money than usual on everything from utilities to transportation. And for those with children, the usual expenses can be a bit larger as prominent energy-consuming habits coupled with more free time quickly add up. Though it can sometimes feel like there is not much we can do to counteract the costs, by enlisting the aid of your children you may be able to make it through the warm season relatively unscathed and with your funds intact.
As a parent, getting your children to do the things that stimulate their brains is important. There are few things that rival books in this regard and after hearing for years of all of the benefits of reading, one that is not often mentioned is the savings that the activity can help you to achieve.
When it comes to books, there is virtually nothing required other than the novel. Even getting kids to read for an hour is one of the easiest ways to save electricity, as instead of consuming energy their imaginations will be captured in a different manner.
And for those who have access to the public library, countless novels are available without the need for payment. You may even be able to take out DVDs free of charge, which would be another source of free entertainment that could save you.
Walking and Biking
One of the best parts about warm weather is the physical activity that it allows us to do outside. And for saving in the summer, you can use that to your advantage by having your kids take charge of their transportation.
While this is best for slightly older kids planning on travelling short to moderate distances, having your children walk or bike to local spots or to a friend’s house can go a long way. It gets them active and can act as a major step towards independence.
The savings come in the form of fuel cost as having kids make the trek on foot means that you won’t have to drive them around, which can be particularly useful in the summer when all too often gas prices rise. Relying on walking instead of the car is also better for the environment as a whole.
Turning Out The Lights
One of the easiest ways your kids can help you save in the summer is by turning off the lights. Though it may seem simple enough, especially in the event that you are not home with them during the day and even when you are, it can be difficult to stay on top of which rooms are being illuminated unnecessarily.
The same can be said of other electronics like the computer or the television. And because kids can sometimes be oblivious to their energy wasting, you may have to get creative to inspire them to power down electronics.
Consider having a power down period in which you cut them off from electronics or give them a portion of the money you save from their energy-conscious behaviours. Nothing motivates kids like cash.
Unplug Your Electronics
When we are done using electronic devices, most of us believe that simply powering them down is enough to stop the flow of electricity to them. The sad reality is that’s not the case as something known as vampire energy actually enables devices to continue to draw energy and cost you money.
In some cases, vampire energy is considered to account for about 20% of our monthly electricity expense, possibly costing us several hundred dollars a year.
To begin reducing this cost, be sure to get your family into the habit of unplugging devices once they are done using them. For kids this means having them stay on top of a number of devices, especially the ones they charge constantly like phones and tablets which are sucking energy unnecessarily when left plugged in after fully charging.
Instituting a nightly unplug time should also help in cutting off unnecessary energy use that so often occurs overnight.
Rely On Fans
It is easy for the summer heat in homes to make things unbearable and cause us to turn on the air conditioner. For older kids who may know how to manipulate the temperature, while this adjustment may drop things down to a comfortable level, it is done at a cost.
Among household expenses, heating and cooling is the source of the home’s largest expense and during months of extreme temperatures, can experience some major spikes. Keep those down by having your children rely on fans instead.
While they don’t cool down the air, they do manage to circulate it which helps to cool us down. It’s important to know that because it means that fans are only useful when someone is in the room to benefit from them. Be sure to mention that to your kids as they help you to save.
About the Author
Douglas Keller has been a financial expert for 20 years, helping people 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.
Over to You Moms
How do you save in the Summer? And are your kids on board with your budgeting plans?