Did you know that the real start to a new year is September? Most households evaluate their finances and money-saving routines at the start of fall. It could be because it’s back-to-school time and children are starting up their extra-curricular activities, It could also be that most jobs work on a fiscal year, which means a re-evaluation of how big your paycheck will be for the next 12 months. Either way, it’s time to look in our homes and work on our frugal mindsets. Here are 4 simple things that you can do right now to get ready for the back-to-school season. Hey, you can get your own mind ready for the upcoming school year. It’s not all about the kids!
Holiday Savings Check-Up
Let’s face it: the holidays will be upon us before we know it. I’m already seeing stores set up for Halloween, so you know the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah displays are just around the corner. If you haven’t started a holiday savings yet, start now. Even if you can only save 25 to 50 dollars a week, you’ll be ahead of the game once the big sales start. This is also a great time to sign up for savings websites like Ebates. Once the sales start, you can purchase through eBates and get money back for shopping. I never go through a holiday shopping season without using a cash back site.
Review Your Grocery Budget
With cooler weather on the horizon, this is great time to see if you will need to allocate more money towards your grocery budget. Cold weather means heartier appetites. You may have to increase how much you spend slightly in order to appease all hungry family members. Also, check your pantry and freezer. Are there items in there that have been there since the beginning of the year? Check their expiration dates, and annotate that those items might not work for your family. If you haven’t used them up by now, then they may not be one of the family favorites in your home. No need to stock up on them anymore.
Check The Utility Bills
Does your electric and heating company offer off-peak hours or do they charge you a flat rate? This is the time to give them a call to find out. If they offer off-peak times, create a schedule when you can take advantage. Wash your clothes after 9pm, and place them in the dryer before bed. Figure out when the sun shines the most in each room, and take advantage of the natural heat from the sun, instead of increasing the heat. By making these little changes, you could save 60 to 80 dollars a month.