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5 Ways to Save Money This Summer


I think Michigan decided to skip spring this year. It has been heating up quickly and when you top it off with 90% humidity it makes for a toasty summer! After a brutal winter with many temperatures in the negatives and a poorly insulated home I am ready to stop seeing such high numbers in our energy bill. Here’s are 5 ways to save money this summer that we’ve already put into action.

Dry your laundry outside

My husband and I get some form of exercise in every day, so between our workout and regular clothes the laundry piles up pretty quickly. I bought a retractable dryer line for $10 at Target and it has already paid off. During the winter I’d use a fan to dry our cloth diapers but now I can just throw them outside along with our sheets, towels, and clothes.

Do your dishes by hand

Dishes are much easier to keep up with when you’ve only got two people to clean up after. I can’t speak for those of you with large families but I have a feeling you can use the same excuse my dad used when I was growing up: “Why do I need a [take your pick of dishwasher, snow blower, or weed killer]? I’ve got three of them that work just fine!” What he meant was that my sisters and I were the dishwashers, snow-shovelers, and weed-pickers in our home. It only takes 10 minutes to clean up dishes by hand rather than suck all that energy and water to clean them in the dishwasher for 45-60 minutes. If you do decide to use your dishwasher, skip the heat-dry setting.

Use technology

I’m not saying sit around on your phone all summer. I’m saying instead of driving to the bank to deposit a check, use your bank’s app to snap a picture and deposit it from home. You’ll save money on gas and the time it takes you to get there and back home. I’ve also shared how you can save money at the grocery store by keeping a running list on your phone.

Utilize windows and program your thermostat

20140226 - thermostatIf you’re gone at work during the day then it doesn’t make sense to keep your air conditioning on all day. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat then it would be worth the investment rather than dishing out all that extra dough to run the air all day. I don’t recommend turning your A/C completely off since costs can add up from re-cooling your home; aim for 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit while home and 80 if you’re gone for more than an hour. As for opening windows… this applies more to night time unless you’ve got a cool breeze during the day that will circulate around the home. Before heading to bed I’ve been opening our windows to get the stuffy, humid Michigan air out and let some cool air in while we sleep. Close any west-facing windows & shades in the morning and east-facing in the evening.

Invest in a dehumidifier

Sometimes it’s not the heat that gets you but rather the moisture that makes you feel so hot. I noticed this when we visited our friends in Colorado a few weeks ago that the lack of humidity made temperatures feel so much different than the same temperature in Michigan. If you can make your home feel cooler without having to turn on the A/C, why not save a few bucks by using a dehumidifier?

Hopefully these tips will be a good start to shave a few bucks off your bills this summer. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t live near my sister in San Diego where it’s always 75 and not ridiculously humid but there’s something about these beautiful Michigan summers that makes it worth sticking around. I raise my glass of cool water flavored with frozen melon balls to you and say “cheers!” to a great summer!

What are your tips to save money this summer?



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I’m a huge fan of NOT opening windows in the summer, at least during the day. I’m always amazed at how people want “fresh” air, but don’t realize that opening up the windows lets in hot air. Or even opening the shade will let in the sunlight that heats up the house. I used to live in a desert, with temps up to 120 degrees, without air conditioning, and inside it was always cool and comfortable because our shades were closed.
    That said, we have a skylight and open it up at night so the hot air can escape. But during the day, it’s closed and covered up with a shade.

  2. We have lived in our house for seven years and until this year I never put the screen in the front door. We just left the glass. This year I decided to put in the screen and what a difference it makes as the airflow through the house is a huge change and keeps things much cooler.

    • We did the same with our place. The window in the front blows right through to the patio door and makes for a great breeze in the morning or evening.

  3. Excellent tips! I didn’t think a thermostat or dehumidifier would be worth the investment. Hopefully as this summer progresses, I can implement tip #4 and #5. As for opening the windows in the nighttime, I am not a big fan. I have realized when the windows are opened, more hot air seems to come in. It gets really hot here in New York.

  4. I think I’m an advocate for opening windows at night because we hold out on using our a/c as long as possible unless we have guests staying with us. If you run the a/c then it’s likely the temp don’t drop low enough at night to make it worth opening windows. Thanks for sharing, David.

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