The winter months are the biggest budget busters around. It’s cold out. You’re bored. It’s dark most of the time. There is temptation to shop everywhere. Everyone wants to get together – and spend money.
It’s enough to crush the budget of even the most savvy saver. Today I’ve got a few big ways you can save money this winter. And the best part? They don’t cost much at all!
Set a realistic budget for the holidays.
It is easy to overspend with all of the deals out there during the holidays. Set a budget before you shop and stick to it. One easy way to stick to your holiday budget is to celebrate a cash-only Christmas. If you’re disciplined, you can save money using a rewards credit card – just make sure to pay the bill in full when it arrives or you’ll erase the savings by paying interest.
There are plenty of other ways to save big on the holidays, too. You can make your own gifts or shop using online coupon codes. With a little planning, you can keep the expense of the holidays under control.
Enjoy free (or cheap) entertainment.
The winter months can easily get long and boring. Don’t let that boredom threaten your wallet! Look for frugal ways to spend a winter afternoon. Head to the library for books, movies and programs. Check your community newspaper for fun (and free events). Drive around and look at the holiday light displays. Break out those board games and invite some friends over for a potluck.
Go for a walk, play outside, build graham cracker houses, learn to make a pair of mittens from an old sweater, or just turn off the TV and enjoy some TV-free activities. Your funds may be limited, but your imagination is not. Get creative and save!
Save big on energy costs.
One of the biggest budget-busters of the winter are your energy costs. It costs a lot of money to heat your home and keep the lights on in the winter. Read 24 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill for ideas on how to trim your biggest winter bill, then learn how to green up your lighting and save on your utility bill.
Make saving money a habit. Remember to turn off lights when you leave a room. Wash clothing on the coldest setting and line-dry your items if possible. Do batch-cooking to save time and energy. Stay home and enjoy curling up on the couch with a book or movie and you won’t have to worry about putting gas in the car.
The winter months may be long, but they don’t have to leave you broke and miserable.
What are some ways you save money during the winter?