Winter is an expensive time with the four most extravagant holidays right after each other (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween), increased utility bills, and more frequent driving. All of these expenses add up and can be difficult to foot, especially if you are on a tight budget. There are many ways to save money through the winter, including cutting expenses, driving less, and making homemade gifts.
Turn Down the Thermostat
Turning down the thermostat can save you up to 3% on every degree below 70°F that you set your thermostat. Get a programmable thermostat so that the heat can automatically be lowered when you are away at work and during the night so you can save money but still be warm.
A lot of heat escapes through the cracks under doors and around old windows. Put a towel under your door to prevent heat from escaping. Optionally, you could buy or make a draft guard to do the same trick. Put weather stripping around the edges of your windows, and insulate the glass by applying a clear plastic film to prevent heat from escaping.
During the winter, people tend to drive more, even when going down the street to visit a neighbor. Driving more uses gas, and turning on the heater uses even more gas. Try to combine trips while running errands to save money. For example, instead of coming home from work and then going back out to go shopping, stop by the store on your way home.
Avoid Retail Therapy
Many people try to beat the winter blues by participating in Retail Therapy. While sometimes it is important to purchase new boots and clothes if yours from last year are destroyed, you don’t need 30 pairs of boots or 17 brand new coats. Try to limit your unnecessary spending. If you would like to treat yourself, buy new-to-you clothes by going to a local thrift store.
There are many things around your home that you never use and just clutter your home. Sell them on eBay or Amazon.
Give friends, neighbors, and family members meaningful homemade presents rather than expensive store-bought gifts. Homemaking presents will also make your friends and family feel more important because you took the time to individualize something for them. If you do buy gifts from a store, do not pay to have them wrap it for you. A roll of wrapping paper costs $2-$5, and you can wrap dozens of presents, while it can cost $5 to have one present gift wrapped at the store.