As every Midwesterner knows, fall is full of opportunities. These opportunities range from chances to have some seasonal fun, like going apple picking, to tasks that will pay off once winter arrives, like cleaning out your garage so your car will fit.
Buy Summer Clothes
One of the best ways to save money in fall is to buy off-season summer clothes. Once September arrives, every retail store that sells clothes starts discounting them in favor of winter gear. You can take this opportunity to look through the discounts and get yourself outfitted for next summer.
When shopping for off-season clothes, be sure to focus on the essentials, like shorts, shirts, summer dresses and bathing suits. You can also get great deals on sandals, pool floats and even beach towels.
Program Your Thermostat
Slowly but surely, smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee are becoming popular, giving you more control over the temperature of your house than ever before. You can take advantage of these thermostats to save money by figuring out what times of day you need the heater running and when you don’t. You can arrange for the temperature in your home to get colder at night when you’re snug under your covers, then get warmer before you get out of bed. You can also program your thermostat to keep your home cooler when you’re away at work, then warm it up just before you get back home.
While there are no independent studies, both Nest and Ecobee claim their smart thermostats can reduce how much you spend on energy. Nest claims its customers save anywhere from 10-12% in heating costs and 15% in air conditioning costs, while Ecobee claims its customers save a combined 23% on their energy bills.
Set up a Holiday Fund
We all know that the holidays get expensive. The cost of gifts, food and travel can really add up.
Instead of putting the entire amount on a credit card and trying to pay it off over the rest of the year, start saving now. Take a small amount of money out of each paycheck and put it in a separate savings account, then use that money to pay for your holidays. Even if you can’t defray the cost completely, you’ll be able to reduce the amount you put on your credit card, which means you’ll have to pay less interest as you’re paying off your credit card debt.
It’s worth pointing out that the earlier you start saving for the holidays, the less you’ll have to go into debt. You can even set up a club savings account that you can deposit money into throughout the year, then have that amount, with the interest earned, deposited in your checking account on a date you’ve chosen beforehand.
Get a Personal Line of Credit or Home Equity Loan
Fall is the time many people decide to make some home repairs and make sure their home heating system is ready to handle the rigors of winter.
Instead of putting these big ticket items on your credit card or hoping your emergency fund can handle the financial strain, get a personal line of credit or home equity line of credit. Both types of loans let you withdraw any amount of money up to your credit limit to fund projects like home repairs or replacing a furnace, and you only have to pay interest on the money you borrow. You might also want to consider using a personal line of credit or home equity line of credit to help pay for holiday expenses.
Prepare for the Winter With First Alliance Credit Union
There are a lot of opportunities to save money in the fall. The more of them you take advantage of, the more money you’ll have to get ahead financially.
You can put that money you’ve saved to good use when you become a member of First Alliance Credit Union today. You can put the money you’ve saved into a traditional savings account, invest it in an IRA or even get a Certificate of Deposit.