July can be considered a mid-year clean slate when it comes to finances and savings. There are so many new ways to save that you can add to your existing routines. Also, this month can provide some deep discounts when it comes to your automobile, grocery shopping and even you upcoming vacations.
Re-negotiate those bills
Did you know that every 6 months you can re-negotiate your phone, insurance and cable bills? If you are fortunate to live in an area full of cable and phone competition, take advantage and virtually create your own bill. It may take a little bit of bluffing on your part (“I’m thinking of leaving. What can you offer me to stay?”) but in the end, you’ll come out on top. Like any negotiation, be sure to have a price point set in your mind and try not to stray away from it. Not looking to hardball a new price from the company? Ask about “good customer” discounts; most companies have these built into their packages for long time customers, but you do have to ask for them.
Stock up at Farmers Markets
Summer time is the best time for Farmers Market adventures. We use them to teach our kids about agiculture and to try new fruits and vegetables, but it’s also a great resource for stocking up on produce for the rest of the year and instantly create a built-in grocery savings. Birdseye aren’t the only people that can flash freeze great produce. If you find unique and delicious fruits and veggies that you’d love to be able to have in the winter, stock up, flash freeze and store them for cooler months.
Review your savings and financial plans
The middle of the year is the perfect time to take a closer look at your savings. If you have been successfully saving with the plan you put into place at the beginning of the year, try increasing your monthly savings amount. Is saving still difficult for you? Decrease the amount you put into savings, while using that extra money towards aggressively paying down debt. When it comes to your finances, do you have a plan in place that is easy to follow these past 6 months? We’re on an envelope plan and have been having difficulty staying motivated. We jazzed it up by letting go of the plain white envelopes (what a waste!) and using a Miss Money Bags Cash System Wallet. Now we are able to place our money in a beautiful compartment, and yes, it does make it harder to part with those dollar bills. If you are on a cash envelope system, be sure to check these out in Sarah”s Etsy store.
Buy reduced memberships
By mid-year, all of the companies that rely on New Year memberships are struggling to make revenue. This is a great time to cash in on a reduced membership to your local gym or big box store. For even better savings, actually go inside of the establishment and talk with a manager. They may have a hidden deal just for new customers, or can work out a customized deal just for you.
Take care of your car for winter
I don’t know about you, but I loathe having to take my car in for tune ups and even oil changes in the winter. It’s cold, I’m cranky, and my car is too. Take care of as much auto repair as you can in warmer months, and reap the benefits of all the summer tire and tune up sales. Also, see if you can get discounts if you book your oil change appointments ahead of time. You’re giving the auto shop guaranteed work, and they’re giving you a guaranteed discount.
Plan your Fall vacation
Frugally fabulous consumers know that having an off-season vacation is the way to go. By booking now, you can get discounts on house rentals, flights and even restaurant reservations or Groupons. Big tourist attractions like DisneyWorld, Myrtle Beach and even a few tropical islands will offer deeply discounted package deals for Autumn. You can go on a 4 star vacation for a fraction of the cost in the spring and summer.
Stock up on “red, white and blue” decorations
Ever heard of Christmas in July? Well, this is the best time to grab any Independence day decorations, and use them in December for Christmas and Hanukkah. The red decorations would be great for Christmas, and the blue and white decor would be great for a Hanukkah celebration. At 75 to 90% off, you can’t pass up getting all of your holly jolly decor way ahead of time.
A big thanks to Sarah from Miss Money Bags for the cash system wallet. If you would like one of your own, use the code 4Hats in her Etsy shop and receive 20% off your order!