With the summer winding down and school starting up again, we know that fall is just around the corner. It may still be too early for the squirrels and other critters to start gathering supplies for the winter, but it’s a perfect time for people to start getting ready for the upcoming seasons. You may want to cling on to what’s left of the summer (and we are right there with you). Getting a head start will save you time, stress, and money. Here’s how:
Closing Out the Summer. Did you have a somewhat indulgent summer? (Hey, that’s what summer is all about, right?). Even before you get started on a pumpkin spice kick, try to deal with any loose ends from summer expenses. If possible, pay off all debt accrued during your summer. In doing this, you won’t have to worry about any outstanding expenses (and accumulating interest) going forward. In a sense, it’s like closing your tab on summertime before moving on.
Saving for the Holidays. Or at the very least, creating a budget for the holidays is a great thing to do while you can still wear shorts. Last minute shopping and/or shopping without a plan are the top culprits in overspending during the holiday months. An early start now means you’ll have plenty of time to make smart purchases (re: some things are on sale during the summer and fall that aren’t in the winter that make excellent holiday gifts). This will also give some time to think ahead in terms of saving for larger purchases. Another bonus: by spreading your holiday shopping out over the course of a few months rather than a few weeks, you won’t have to rely on credit to get your gift list in order.
Prepping for Colder Weather. Ok, so it may be a little early for this one, but you might want to start thinking about things like car maintenance (snow tires, etc), weatherproofing your home, and other cooler weather concerns. Doing things like locking in your heating fuel price early can save you money on every gallon of fuel you’ll need this winter. For more in-depth suggestions on how to save money this winter, check out this post about getting ready for winter.
Planning for Larger Gatherings. The arrival of fall also brings a lot of gatherings centered around food. This can add up, especially if you’re hosting.
To save on food costs, consider cooking yourself and using in-season foods. Fall produce includes butternut squash (some recipe ideas here), apples, and sweet potato. Another bonus of cooking in bulk for the holidays- leftovers!
Creating a Holiday Travel Plan. Do you visit family or generally travel during the holidays? Although many people probably do not have dates planned for holiday events this early, it might be worth starting to think about your method of travelling at the very least. Plane tickets are usually cheaper if you purchase them far enough in advance. If you are driving to a far away destination, take a look at our road trip post for money saving tips.
There’s still time to enjoy the remainder of summer, but your wallet will thank you if you take a few small steps to start preparing for the upcoming months.