Money Matters: Seven summer saving story ideas

Education Resources, Finance 411,

1. How to save on A/C
Record-breaking heat has air conditioners running full-time. What are some ways to keep your home comfortable but save on your utility bills at the same time? Talk to a heating and cooling specialist for tips on how to stay cool and save. And what about those smart thermostats connected to apps? Can their additional settings make it easier to monitor your A/C spending?

2. Free- and low-cost activities for kids
Visit your local library, parks and rec department and neighborhood pool to learn more about ways to keep kids from getting board as summer stretches on. 

3. Summer travel tips
Summer is prime time for vacations, but that also means many destinations are crowded – and expensive. What are some off-season summer vacation ideas that could save some money? How about sharing tips for earning those travel rewards points a little faster?

4. Solar power savings
Homeowners can take advantage of the summer sun and save on their utility bills by installing solar panels.  They’re getting less expensive to install, so learn a little about the costs and benefits. What local laws or homeowner association regulations should people considering solar panels be sure to watch for?And what happens when it comes time to sell a house with solar panels?

5. Home and garden renovations
Summer is pool and patio season, too. What are some quick and inexpensive ways to spruce up a neglected patio or garden? How can homeowners plan ahead for projects that will be easy to maintain into the future? What plants work best in your local area?

6. Summer jobs
One creative idea is this recurring segment exploring different summer jobs. Find some of the more unique seasonal opportunities in your area and try them for a day! You’ll get a fun feature with an opportunity to show the numbers, too. A segment on summer jobs could also include pointers on how to choose a side job- what are the pros and cons of part-time work vs a contract role? What are some job opportunities most people don’t think about?

7. Back-to-school
It seems too soon, but back-to-school season is getting closer. What’s the best time to buy school supplies? How can families maximize their shopping with opportunities like local tax free days or get extra support buying school supplies?

Weekly Money Matters personal finance content for your newsroom is sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education. Learn more at the Money Matters session at Excellence in Journalism.