Fall saving tips
October, November and December are the most active months of the year. First it’s back to work and back to school; then come the holidays in December. These are the months on which we do the most, are the most sociable, and also when we spend the most. Nonetheless,it’s possible to make it through the season without breaking the bank.
Here are some fall saving tips to help that will help you this season.
The first nippy, wet, and windy days are always a shock after the summer’s warmth. It’s natural to want to turn to the thermostat to keep it warm inside. Just hold off using the heat, if you can. It’s OK to wear thicker clothing indoors and, according to Sleep.org the best temperature to help productive sleep is between 60- and 67-degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 to 19.5 Celsius). A toasty comforter will help you keep your heating bills lower one to two months. The cooler air at night will also help you sleep better.
Prepare your home for the cold
Winter’s a beautiful season, but it can be hard on your finances if you’re losing heat to an improperly insulated home. Check out the article by Consumer Reports on how to spend a little on fixing you house for winter, to save you more on long term expenses.
Now’s the best time to check on your budget. You’ll be able to see what you can spare each month for shopping pre-holidays. You’ll also know what you have through the end of the year, to steer yourself clear of overspending. It also gives you time to decide if you want to skip a payment on a debt to provide you extra cash for the holidays.
At the grocery store
Make a point of buying a few generic store name grocery items a week. Each one will add up to a tidy bit of savings by month’s end. This way you’ll learn what store-brand items are just as good (or better) than name brand. That translates into even more savings over time.
In-season fruits and vegetables are always cheaper. Start the chilly season by taking stock of what’s available and cook things that are good for this season, as it can save you quite a bit of cash. If you cook up larger batches of things you like that you can freeze, you can even extend the savings further. Here are 25 fall vegetable recipes to check out and try.
Like I said this season is, socially and work-wise, the busiest of the year. Consider pausing your gym membership till January. It will also give you an excuse to go outdoors and enjoy the lovely fall outdoors, too!
While it is a bit too late to open a Christmas Club Account for these holidays, you’re just in time to start one for next year. You make a monthly transfer or payroll deposit into the account, and promise not to touch it. In exchange, you get an extra juicy interest rate; it’s the perfect way to set a bit of cash aside every month, forget about it, and have money for the holidays of next year. For example, $75 a month barely makes a dent now. But when it adds up, you get $900 plus interest next November, guilt-free! Unbeatable!
There are those who sometimes bought more than one present for one person because they forgot they’d already bought one. I fit that bill sometimes. Now that you have time to plan, make a list of people who you know you’ll gift in December. Go through the gifts you’ve already bought and add them to the list. Then you’ll know gifts you’re missing, as well as the budget you’ll need for them.
Curbing your credit spending
Again, if you tend to go overboard, start thinking of leaving cards and checkbook at home. Take one at a time with you whenever you go shopping. It’ll go a long way towards controlling what you’re spending and sticking to that budget.
Late back-to-school sales pose great opportunities to stock up on supplies that you need through the year, even if you don’t have kids. And fall sales, if you need to follow tip #8, can provide great discounts on early Christmas presents.
Avoiding the Christmas spam
Speaking of Christmas, that season’s spam is about to start (yes, a bit earlier every year!). You will control your shopping -and spending- better if you take 20 minutes now to unsubscribe from all those stores whose email fill your inbox every week.
Giving, not buying
Even better, while there is still time before the holidays… why not take a little time to browse some
And if you’re a man and you think that the making gifts is only “a chick thing” there are DIY sites just for you, too!
Things to do with friends
Alright, so it’s easy to get most of us to sign off going to the gym till next year, but: how about going out with friends to do things that don’t cost money? Can you do that? There are many, many free fall activities to do with friends instead of the usual dinner/movie/coffee/drinks routines. The cooler fall months are the best time to walk around and see new places! Here’s the DC area guide to this fall. If you don’t live in this area, all you have to do is google the name of where you live and “things to do this fall”.
If you’re a friend of road trips, here are two must-sees in the autumn.
First is Fallingwater, the house that Frank Lloyd Wright built over a waterfall in Pennsylvania. It’s even more beautiful in the fall.
The second is the renowned trip to see
Playing the host?
If you’re thinking of having a holiday event like Thanksgiving or Christmas at your place, remember: they’re expensive and time-consuming affairs to host. Why not start early, asking among friends and family the following:
- Who wants to bring a dish or item, and
- Who wants to help you with the preparations?
The first will save you money and cooking time; the second is a time saver that will allow you to be more sociable the day of the event.