Dave Ramsey is more than just a personal finance guru. He’s also a well-known radio host, bestselling author, highly successful businessman and a self-made individual. In fact, he had a net worth of over a million dollars by the age of 26 and was earning roughly $250,000 a year.
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Today, Ramsey spends much of his time helping others through things like money management advice, financial tips and budgeting advice. It’s because of Ramsey’s success and extensive knowledge that many people turn to him now in many areas of personal finance.
If you’re looking for ways to save money and stick to a realistic budget this summer, here are some of Ramsey’s top tips. What’s great about these tips is that they’re easy to implement and highly effective.
Also see Ramsey’s tips for buying a house you actually can afford.
Make a Summer Vacation Budget
Many people take advantage of the warmer season and time off from school by going on vacation. For some families, this means going to a nearby beach or local resort. For others, it might mean taking a road trip or traveling overseas to experience something new and exciting.
However you choose to enjoy your summer vacation, Ramsey suggests creating a special budget for it — one that’s separate from your everyday budget. He also recommends taking advantage of cheap, discounted or free activities to cut down on costs.
Some travel sites, for instance, have special deals on flights, tourist spots and hotels that can help you save money. Using browser apps like Honey can further add to your overall savings.
Another recommendation is to skip expensive theme parks such as Disney and choose a cheaper but still fun alternative. For example, Ramsey suggests going to a state park where you and the family can go camping, hiking or swimming. This is a more budget-conscious option that still gets you out of the house.
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Search for Additional Money Through a Budget
Making a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. To begin with, Ramsey suggests writing down how much you make from all sources, including your main job and any side gigs. Then, write down your fixed and variable expenses. If you’re not sure what these are, use your bank statements from the last couple of months as a reference. After you’ve calculated these numbers, subtract your expenses from your income.
But don’t stop there. Ramsey also advises that you track your spending each month. This can not only help you stick to your budget, it can give you a clearer picture of where you can cut back. You might be surprised to find additional money that you didn’t have before and can now use toward your summer plans, saving or paying off debt.
Be Smart About Grocery Shopping
Ramsey also has several tips about saving money on groceries this summer. One of the major ones is to go with a meal plan and a shopping list. Having a list of what you want to purchase can make it easier to avoid impulse buys and ensure your pantry is full of what you actually need.
Further, Ramsey suggests taking advantage of coupons and in-store discounts or sales, as these can add to your savings. Many grocery stores have their own apps that include access to digital coupons and deals. When you combine this with cash-back apps, it can even add more to your savings.
Consider Your Air Conditioning Costs
Energy costs tend to go up quite a bit in the summer, especially if you frequently run the air conditioner and live in a hot climate. While you don’t want to be uncomfortable at home, there are still ways to cut costs in this area.
Ramsey suggests keeping the doors of your lesser-used rooms closed to prevent overcooling. Along with this, keeping your windows and doors caulked can prevent cool air from escaping. You also can close the blinds or curtains during the hottest parts of the day to keep some of the heat out.
Limit Going Out To Eat
The cost of going out to eat adds up quickly, especially if you have a large family or tend to dine out several times a week. It’s OK to splurge every once in a while, but you may want to cut back a little if going out is a frequent occurrence in your household.
Instead of dining out, Ramsey recommends making your own meals. Doing this helps prevent food waste and saves you money on food. If you cook with a family member or friend, you also can get a fun experience out of it.
If you do go out, Ramsey recommends using coupons or taking advantage of buy-one-get-one-free deals. Many restaurants also have happy hours, where dishes are discounted. Depending on where you go, you also might have the option where kids under a certain age eat free or for less money. If none of these options are available, consider splitting a dish with someone to save money.
Look for Travel Discounts
If your summer plans include traveling, Ramsey suggests using sites like Kayak or Airbnb to find the best deals on car rentals, airfare and accommodations. Depending on how flexible your plans are, you may want to consider going to less expensive destinations as well.
Consider Selling Stuff You Don’t Need
Another effective way to help you save money and budget this summer is to sell things you no longer need or use. For example, you could host a garage sale or sell your things online through eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or a similar platform. Items like clothes, electronics, and kitchen supplies can be worth money, especially if they’re in good condition.
Stop Paying for a Gym Membership
Summer is a great time to take advantage of outdoor recreational activities like hiking, swimming and biking. So, if you’re still paying for a gym membership, see whether you can pause it for a few months.
The cost of gym membership varies based on things like the location and gym. By temporarily pausing yours, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars. Once the weather turns, you can always resume going.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Dave Ramsey’s 8 Tips for Saving Money and Sticking to a Budget This Summer
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