Eight tips to beat the heat on a budget
Swimming, sunshine, BBQ’s and sandals are far more comfortable than boots, parkas and snow – unless of course you are trying to beat the heat while staying on a budget.
With heat waves impacting regions across the country, many Canadian households are finding it difficult to stay cool without heating up their bottom lines.
Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, understands the desire to crank up the air conditioning when temperatures soar, but warns that many families may find they don’t have the money to pay for their cranked-up utility bills.
“When the heat and humidity begin to rise, it is very tempting to turn your home into a meat locker,” says Schwartz. “But even a few days of constant AC can quickly put the freeze on a family’s bottom line.”
Recognizing that staying cool during the summer can be pricey; Schwartz and the team at Consolidated Credit offer these tips to stay cool without heating up your budget:
1. Created a cross-draft. One of the quickest ways to save on cooling costs is to open your windows at night. Just be sure you open more than one. Opening windows on opposite sides of your home when the sun goes down can help create a cross-draft that will move considerably more fresh air through your living space.
2. Draw the blinds. Eliminating direct sunlight from your home during long, hot summer days will help keep the temperature down and decrease your dependence on air conditioning. Consider drawing the blinds on the East, South and West sides of your home to keep yourself and your bottom line cool.
3. Try a Scottish shower. What’s a Scottish shower you ask? It is a therapeutic practice of ending your shower with cool or cold water. Not only does this practice have a number of health benefits, it will also keep you cool on hot summer nights and limit your hot water use – helping you save more money on your energy bill.
4. Get grilling. When the thermostat rises, using the oven can make your house even hotter and your energy bill larger. Stop sweating in the kitchen and take your cooking outdoors whenever you can.
5. Camp out. There may be nothing worse than trying to sleep on a hot and humid summer night. So why not sleep somewhere cooler? Camping out in your backyard or basement can help you beat the heat…..and if you have kids, it’s a frugal and fun family activity.
6. Hang out. If you are trying to save money on cooling costs, running the clothes dryer is counterproductive. Using a clothesline to dry your clothes will keep the temperature down and can also help cut your electricity bill!
7. Water, water, and more water. Keeping hydrated is one of the simplest ways to keep cool in the summertime. Grabbing an icy glass of water instead of cranking up the AC will keep your internal temperature down while avoiding the heat of a high electricity bill.
8. Get out of the house. It’s summertime! What are you doing holed up in a hot house all day? Places like local libraries, splash pads and community centres are all great places to cool off without having to open your wallet.
As summer wears on, think twice before turning up the air conditioning. The last thing you want is to freeze all winter because your budget couldn’t handle the heat this summer.
If your finances are already feeling the heat this summer, it may be time to ask for help! Give us a call at 1-888-294-3130 today to speak to a trained credit counsellor and find out how you can get your budget under control. You can also try our Free Debt Analysis online and a counsellor will reach out to you.