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Girl reflects on her summer savings while basking in the sun

If you've stepped outside even once so far, you surely know that the Texas summer has officially begun!

And while these months can be incredibly hot, they're also some of the best to get out and take advantage of great opportunities to make and save money.

Today, let's take a look at 5 ways you can put the money back and have an amazing summer at the same time.

1. Use Affordable Child Care

Instead of paying for costly babysitters and day care centers all summer, put some thought into your children's summer days.

Take a look at low-cost summer camps and community programs from schools, churches, and other youth organizations. Even if they're only involved for a week or two, it could save you some serious money.

Also, if you feel one of your children is ready and mature enough to babysit the younger kids while you're away, you're in luck. For parents with older kids, child care is practically free!

2. Unplug Unused Appliances

This should go without saying. It doesn't matter how much money you make every year -- if you have a houseful of appliances plugged in and turned on that aren't being used, there's only one thing to do:

Unplug, unplug, unplug.

Whenever you finally do need to use an appliance, the extra three seconds it takes to plug it back in won't hurt anybody. Just don't shock yourself!

3. Start a Garden

Instead of going out to the grocery store several times a week to stock up on the healthy fruits and vegetables that you should be eating every day, try gardening instead.

Not only are the foods you grow much, much cheaper when they come from your garden -- many people say they actually taste better. Maybe it has something to do with the fertile soil in Longview and Tyler!

Plus, the activity of gardening itself can be exciting and rewarding. Try it for yourself in your backyard!

4. Cook at Home

Everyone loves a good old-fashioned summer barbecue. And the more you cook at home in general, the less money you'll spend.

Think about it. Every time you go out to eat, you'll spend money not only on the overpriced food but also the tip for the wait staff at the end of each meal.

That money adds up way more than you might think, especially over the course of a whole summer. So, spend as much time as possible cooking at home!

5. Open Your Windows at Night

This might come as a shock to some, but you don't have to run your air conditioner 24/7. At night once everyone's asleep and your home is at a reasonable temperature, shut your system down.

Once it gets a little stuffy in there, open up your windows and let the nighttime breeze cool you down. Come morning, close the windows, pull down the blinds, and crank that AC back up.

The money you'll save from not blasting your air conditioner all summer long will save you some serious cash on your electricity bill.

And remember, if you haven't put enough money back to cover emergency costs like home or auto repairs or an unexpectedly huge bill, Atlas Credit can help.

We offer quick personal loans of up to $1,300 on easy 5 to 12 month repayment plans. All you have to do is apply online or at one of our many locations throughout Texas to see if you qualify for a personal loan from Atlas Credit. Contact us today to learn more!

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