Here’s How To Save $$$ During The Warmer Months


By the time spring and summer gets here, we're just like, "Take all my money!"

We're so happy to welcome it with open arms that we give it our hard-earned money for the best experiences, from concerts to snagging that perfect sundress and sandals to match. While some experiences and things just can't be bought, there are money hacks you can specifically take advantage of during the warmer months; so when fall comes around, your bank account can say it had just as much as you did this season.

Grocery Bag That Ice Cream 

Trust me, I know the experience of standing in line in the beautiful summer sun waiting for ice cream from a local shop can be way different than buying a gallon from the frozen section of the grocery store. But if you think about it, they're pretty much the same price. Why pay $5 for one when you can pay the same and enjoy it multiple times? Throw in some cones and have an ice cream party, which can be an amazing experience in itself. You'll find that buying it in bulk can definitely save versus going to the ice cream store regularly.

Let’s Take… A Long Walk


Obviously, the best part of spring and summer is the weather and memories we make while enjoying it. Considering the weather is gorgeous, why not take advantage of it? If you're running somewhere that's within walking distance, why start up your car and waste gas instead of literally running (or walking) to your destination. You'll burn some calories while saving a little bit of money that can add up to a lot by the time fall comes back around. If walking isn't an option, you can always grab a bike.

Meal Prep For Day Trips

Summer is pretty much equivalent to road trips. But when you're taking them, you don't necessarily have to eat at fast food restaurants along the way. A money-saving option is to pack a lunch and place it in a cooler until you're ready to dig in and indulge. This could also be true for workdays if you're really into meal prepping.

Let That AC Go Bro


For most of us, our electric/energy bills go way down during the hotter months, thanks to not needing to skyrocket the heat. But you can save even more money if you turn off the AC altogether. If the weather is completely sweltering, which it most likely will be, turn on your ceiling fans for a refreshing breeze or purchase a floor fan for the low. You can also cool down your apartment by cooking most of your meals on the grill outside instead of in the oven and on top of the stove. If you seriously can't see yourself turning off your AC for the entire summer (because that would be a major move), maybe just do it for the hours you're out of the house during the day, or during cool summer nights. Whatever you choose, cleaning out your filter regularly can also make a big difference. (It's also helpful to close your curtains so you're AC doesn't have to put out as much energy to cool down your place.)

Get The Hookup 

Whether you're going to a state fair or an amusement park, there are typically discount days everyone, including you and your clique, can take advantage of. One of the best practices is to search on the venue or park's website to see when they offer certain member discounts. From being affiliated with different organizations and companies to being a student, you should hardly ever have to full price for events and experiences during the summer. It also doesn't hurt to look at the competition to see who's offering the lowest price for you.

Hit The Thrift Shop


Honestly, this can clearly work any time of year. But if you're looking for something for a special event or a trip to the beach, second-hand consignment stores will save you tons of money. And if you don't frequent them often, you could be surprised at what you find. Women have found everything from prom dresses to luxury, name-brand heels (some with the tags still on!) at thrift stores. And most people would never know the difference once you're rocking the outfit. Save your coins sis.

E-Commerce Apps Can Be A Must

Sites like Groupon and Living Social can be your bank account's best friend during the summer. From discounts at hair salons and hotels to spas and some of the biggest concerts coming to your area, they'll show you a majority of the price-chopping discounts for activities you're already looking at paying full price for. They also have lower prices for getaways and can offer you discounts for events and experiences at your travel destination.

Carpool Is King


Whether you're going to work or a concert, carpooling with friends can save you and them lots of money in the summer. Because we know that's when the price of gas typically likes to show out. If you don't know how to jump into the carpooling bandwagon, there are apps and sites like eRideShare. And it's not unusual for carpoolers to save up to $1000 a year (that's more than $80 a month).

Live Unplugged

…At least for appliances you're not using at the time. You can save a pretty good chunk of change by unplugging your phone charger, appliances in your kitchen, and even major items like your television when you're not using them. If you have a power strip for some of your big items, just unplug it before you leave the house, and rev it back up when you get home.

Featured image by Getty Images

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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