Credit Union News

Keeping Summer Costs Low

Summer is right around the corner. School will be out and temperatures will be rising – along with many of our monthly expenses. With additional costs mounting for utilities, fuel and summer activities, we should also look for additional ways to save. We can use efficient and logical solutions to save energy, minimize waste and save money all at the same time. As you go about your routine this week, consider implementing some of the following processes to save.

In the kitchen: Turn up your refrigerator and tune up your dish drying skills. The refrigerator accounts for an enormous percentage of your household electricity use. Check your refrigerator's thermostat and the suggested safe temperatures for food that you store, then consider making adjustments. With the dishwasher, using the energy saver setting and running it only when it's full can save a lot as well. Letting the dishes air dry, or drying them yourself, can save 20 percent of the dishwasher's total energy use.

Around the house: You don't have to implement cold showers as a means of saving energy; however, you can make sure your clothes do. If you switch your washer to the warm or cold water setting, you can save energy and cut down the CO2 emissions released (hundreds of pounds each year). And, you can keep the heating and cooling under control in other rooms as well, simply by adjusting your thermostat by a few degrees. For summer, 78ºF is probably a good indoor temperature, but this can vary based on personal preference.

Around town: Your vehicle burns a great deal of energy every time you make a short trip to the grocery store, to a local restaurant or to make a deposit at your local financial institution. There are a few ways to combat this kind of energy use:

  1. Change your method. Instead of hitting up traditional stores, are there places that you can get better deals online? Can you pay your bills online to keep from traveling to the post office or to local places of business?
  2. Change your habits. Look for different ways to handle your errands. Can you combine multiple grocery trips into a weekly excursion? Can you turn off your car instead of leaving it running when you're waiting in a long drive-thru line for a cool summer drink?
  3. Change your model. If your vehicle is getting older, it may not be as energy efficient or fuel-efficient as a newer version. Now could be a great time to consider a car that gets more miles to the gallon – it'll save you money on gas, plus with the great auto loan rates available right now, you could also save a great deal on financing.

We can't do anything about the summer heat, but we can beat rising summer expenses by creating conservative habits and cost-effective behaviors. Happy summer saving!