A change of season is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start, and there’s something special about the fall that really feels like a new beginning. Maybe it’s the start of the school year for the kids, or the crisp breezes that give us a break from all of that heat and humidity. Whatever the reason, the start of autumn is a good time to take a look at your home - and your finances - and see if you can find ways to make a change for the better. Click “Next” to read the top 10 ways to save money in your home this fall.
1. Weather-Proof Doors and Windows
Make sure your home is ready to handle the inevitable influx of cooler temperatures. Weatherproof your windows and doors by checking for drafts, and sealing up any leaks you can find. Check your attic and basement too. If you find your windows are poorly insulated, wrap them with an insulator kit from your local hardware store. It’s much better to do a little extra work now than get stuck with an extra large heating bill.
2. Audit Your Spending
After the holidays, lots of us get a big shock when it comes to our bank balance. By taking the time to look at your monthly spending now, you’ll be better prepared for those upcoming seasonal expenses - and may even discover a few ways you can save. If you notice you’ve been buying a coffee a day, or eating lunches out on the regular, try making your own at home and bringing them to work with you. That extra bit of preparation will mean you’ll have more money in your bank account to buy those Christmas gifts, take that vacation, or save for retirement.
3. Make Time for Some DIY
Cleaning out your furnace filter, and making any simple roof repairs (such as nailing down curling shingles), are two frugal must-do fall habits. Save money by taking on these tasks yourself - all you need is a basic tool kit - and ensuring that your home is ready for the cooler weather. These easy tasks are preventative measures that may help you avoid a large repair bill later.
4. Eat Meals at Home
Making meals yourself, rather than eating out, isn’t just good for your waistline, it’s good for your wallet, too. Apples, squash, and root vegetables are in season in the fall, which are perfect for making pies, soups, and other delicious autumn goodies. If you find yourself strapped for time during the week, look for meals that can be made ahead or frozen, or dinners that can be made in a slow cooker. Make extra at dinner so that leftovers can be taken for lunch the next day.
5. Turn Off the Television
Fall is a great season to spend outdoors. Save money by ditching the cable package for fresh air, beautiful coloured leaves, and pumpkin patches. In addition to saving money on your cable package, turning off the television also contributes to a lower electrical bill, and more quality time spent with family and friends. It’s also a fabulous opportunity to explore local events and businesses before the snow flies.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is an easy way to cut down on energy use when you’re not at home. By setting your thermostat to heat your home at certain times, like just before you get home from work, you can ensure that you’re not wasting valuable energy - and cash - while you’re slaving away at the office. Likewise, you can set the thermostat to a lower temperature overnight, reducing the amount of heat used and saving money in your sleep!
7. Get Crafty
Rather than buying fall accessories or Halloween decor, why not make your own? There are lots of fun autumn crafts available - and plenty of them are easy enough to complete in an afternoon. Grab the kids, or a group of friends and have a little creative fun! Not only is it more affordable to make your own decor rather than buying it, you’ll be making some wonderful memories, too.
8. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Sure, energy efficient light bulbs may cost more initially, but they will save you money in the long run. With a much longer lifespan than traditional bulbs, and less electricity consumption, replacing the light bulbs in your home with energy efficient ones can help you keep costs down as the daylight hours begin to get shorter. If you don’t have the budget to change every traditional bulb in the house, simply upgrading the bulbs in high traffic areas to energy efficient ones will make an impact on this season’s electrical bill.
9. Plan Holiday Shopping Now
We’ll be seeing Christmas decorations in stores any day now. And you know what, it’s definitely not too early to start planning your holiday shopping. That’s because a little preparation could actually save you some serious cash. If you plan ahead, you have the time to sign up to store email lists to receive exclusive discounts, and other special promotions that can help you save money. Making a list now - and sticking to it - helps to ensure your Christmas shopping can come in under budget this year.
10. Make Gifts Yourself
Giving generously and saving cash don’t usually go hand in hand. However, creating your own homemade gifts is one way to get the best of both worlds. Food mixes, soap, cookies, and other crafts can be made at home relatively inexpensively. Plus, these personal presents will no doubt get plenty of praise, as hand-made gifts are generally considered more thoughtful than things bought from a store.
All photo provided by Shutterstock