Tips to Prevent a Financial "Fall" this Autumn

posted 10/14/2013 in General

There’s no doubt that fall is here once again in Iowa. The leaves have started to change, the weather has gotten a bit crisper and the countdown to Halloween is on. The change in the calendar and the seasons also brings with it different expenses you’ll have to account for when budgeting during the fall months. 
Like every season, fall brings its own expenses and challenges
for budgeting and savings.
Lincoln Savings Bank wants to make sure you’re financially prepared for the coming months, so let’s take a look at some expenses you and your family could be facing in the next couple of months.
Heating- yes, we all know the fall and impending Iowa winters can be severely cold. However, the Farmer’s Almanac and other forecasts are calling for a colder fall and winter, meaning you’ll be relying on your furnace more. A thorough examination by a technician is a good place to start, and changing out the filter every month will help airflow efficiency so you spend less on heating when you need it.
Electricity- as the days grow darker earlier, you’ll be flipping on light switches and lamps earlier in the evening. Be smart about what lights you have on and off, and create a plan for keeping unused appliances unplugged to help with energy savings.
Warmer clothing- a 2012 North Dakota University study found the average American family spends about $2,000 a year on new clothing. When you’re out shopping for pants, sweatshirts and jackets, try retailers like TJ Maxx, Kohl’s or others that routinely mark down prices and have sales. Also, don’t be afraid to comparison shop to find the best price.
Food- if this fall and winter are as harsh as the Farmer’s Almanac predicts, you could be faced with rising food prices at the grocery store. This calls for a shopping list filled with items that can easily be made into casseroles or other recipes that can feed a family for more than just one meal. Crockpots can also be an important ally. Again, you may need to comparison shop at different stores for the best deals.
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