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Fall is here, and with it, steadily rising prices. The cost of simply heating and cooling your home is going up, not to mention the upcoming holiday season. Luckily, there are several fall hacks that can help you save more money during these beautiful, cooler months.
Hack #1: Stay Healthy
Cold and flu season can wreck your plans and your finances in a hurry. Instead of spending a fortune visiting the doctor, heading off to the pharmacy for over-the-counter cold and flu medicine, do your best to stay healthy. This includes getting outside for some much-needed exercise, eating healthy, and taking necessary steps to stay away from people who might make you ill.
Hack #2: Turn Down the Thermostat
As cooler weather approaches, it can be tempting to crank up the thermostat indoors. For every degree that you increase your thermostat, however, your electricity budget increases along with it. Instead, set your thermostat low and put on your favorite warm, fuzzy clothes. You don’t have to spend the fall and winter shivering and wearing gloves in your own home, but you can certainly inch it down a degree or two and appreciate the savings.
Hack #3: Conduct a Wardrobe Swap
Find yourself needing new clothes for the fall, whether because your weight has changed or because you just need to freshen up your closet? Instead of spending a fortune on brand new clothes, consider hosting a wardrobe swap with some of your closest friends. All of you can bring clothes that you no longer want and exchange them for some of your friends’ clothing–and everyone gets a wardrobe refresh for free!
Hack #4: Make Sure Your Home is Prepared for Winter
Take some time now to review your home maintenance. Have you scheduled annual maintenance for your HVAC unit? Sealed any gaps around doors and windows? Taking care of these simple tasks now can save you a fortune over the fall and winter, as the temperature continues to drop.
Hack #5: Plan Seasonal Meals
Squash, apples, and other fall harvest fruits and vegetables are everywhere–and chances are, they’ll cost you far less than fruits and vegetables that have to be trucked in from warmer climates. Plan your fall menus around the ready availability of those items and watch your grocery budget drop as a result.
Hack #6: Take the Time to DIY
When you’re on a tight budget, going the DIY route can save you a lot of money, whether it’s putting together a cute Halloween costume or making your own potpourri. Just make sure that the cost of the supplies you’re using doesn’t add up to more than you would have spent to buy the item!
Hack #7: Do a No-Spend Week
Many people opt for a no-spend November to prepare for the upcoming holiday season–or at least to avoid excess spending until Black Friday. IF you’re not up to a full month without excess spending, aim for a single week: just one week where you don’t visit restaurants, you eat out of your pantry, and you don’t buy extras that you don’t really need. This week can help establish better spending habits that will stick with you long-term.
Hack #8: Check Out Local Free Events
Whether you’re planning for a fun date or heading out for an afternoon with the kids, see what events are available for free–or at least cheap. Tour the local fall festival, visit the pumpkin patch for a pumpkin, or go on a hay ride–or just take a walk through your local park to look at the leaves. Pass on the more expensive events, especially if they aren’t really as much fun as you had anticipated.
Hack #9: Clean Out Your Inbox
This time of year, emails about flash sales are starting to hit your inbox with a vengeance. Avoid the temptation to overspend by cleaning out emails from companies that you don’t really want to hear from–or that you know you don’t need to buy from right now. You can always resubscribe later if you need those connections during the holiday season.
Fall doesn’t have to be one of the most expensive seasons of the year. In fact, it can be one of the least expensive you are able to enjoy. By following these simple savings hacks, you can improve your fall spending and prepare for the more expensive holiday season.
Information appearing in this article is obtained from sources we believe are reliable. The information may not be a complete statement of all available data and is not guaranteed as such. Marine FCU is not responsible for the contents of this article and advises its membership to investigate claims before following the information provided.