There’s a nip in the air that doesn’t go away with the afternoon sun. It — more than the return of the pumpkin spice latte — is proof that the fall has arrived. That means winter is just around the corner, giving you a few scant weeks to prepare your home for the harshest weather of the year. It also means the holidays are on their way too, putting added pressure on your budget at a time when you want to make seasonal repairs and upgrades. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season stop you from winterizing your home. If you use these tips to guide your chore list, you’ll be able to prepare for the winter — even on a small budget.
Before you start your winter chores, you should track your expenses to expose your worst spending habits. Common financial advice suggests you track as far back as three months to get a good idea of how you usually spend your cash day to day. This process typically exposes all the ways you’re spending your expendable cash on things you don’t need. Once you know your weaknesses, you should figure out how you can eliminate these from your budget. Here are a few examples of what you can cut out to save a few bucks:
- Buying coffee before work each morning: The average American spends $1,100 a year on takeout coffee, or roughly $3 every day. When you find the time to brew your own from home, your cup of Joe only costs $0.20.
- Using ATMs: Though it’s more convenient to withdraw cash as you need it from the closest bank machine, it comes at a cost. Some ATMs charge you more than $5 for you to use their services. If you organize your week to visit your home branch, you can take out the same cash for free.
- Paying late fees: Did you know that Americans spend $18 billion in late fees and other penalties every year? If you forget to pay your bills, you should set up an automatic payment plan with your bank to avoid these fees.
When you trim down these needless expenses, you’ll have a lot more money to work with as you winterize. You shouldn’t feel discouraged if it isn’t enough to cover everything you need. The holidays can be expensive, and they’re an additional pressure point on your budget. If you can’t manage to juggle both on your own, an online line of credit can help you manage it. Most line of credit online loans acts like other online cash advances in the way you can use them, except they’re easier to repay. Instead of having to repay it back all in one lump sum, you can repay it over a longer term as long as you pay its minimum payments.
When you have to rely on outside help to cover essential winter repairs, you need to prioritize your chores. Upgrades, chores, and other changes that you can easily afford and definitely need should take precedence, while other non-essential changes should be put on the back burner— even if they’re cheap. Avoid splurging on unnecessary seasonal items and focus on these affordable winterization tips. And remember, DIY is almost always less expensive than if you were to hire a professional to help with drafty windows or clogged gutters.
Preparing your home for winter doesn’t have to be out of your reach during the expensive holiday season. If you organize your finances well and use a money-saving guide to help cut costs, you can winterize your home without breaking the bank.