When leaves are falling and turning a beautiful array of colors between yellow, orange, and red, and no more sunbathing or having ice cream in 95-degree weather, hoping to cool off, you know it’s that time of year again. Fall is upon us.
This is usually the favorite season for most people because of the perfect weather and fashion-forward clothing. But it is also the season when you can save the most.
You have probably spent a little too much money over the past few months with the whole family being home most of the time because of quarantine, leading to an uptake in household bills.
Not to mention all the online shopping you have probably indulged into because of being stuck at home. Don’t feel bad about it though, this has been the case for people all over the world. Online shopping reached the highest it has ever been in 2020, surpassing even holiday season peaks.
Or maybe this pandemic had a more unfortunate impact where you had to be off from work for a while due to the temporary closing of some businesses, and that affected your budget. (If you are still financially affected by this and looking for ways to make money, read Passive Income: 5 Online Businesses That Work.)
Whatever it is that may have affected your financial situation this year, fall is the time of year where the saving possibilities are endless. So, step into the season informed on some of the best fall money-saving tips that will get you by and into the next season.
Saving Tips: 9 Smart Ways To Save More Money This Fall
- Save Energy, Save Money
- Fall Vacations
- Flight Tickets
- Clothes Shopping
- A New Car?
- Wrong Season Appliances
- U.S. Mortgage Rates
- Grocery Shopping
- Holiday Savings
1. Save Energy, Save Money
As the weather gets cooler outside, you are transitioning from turning off the air conditioning. You may even be able to go a few weeks with opening the windows to let the cool air in and not need heating.
Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.
Try to go without heat or air conditioning for September and October. Cut utilities down by abandoning the service that drives up your electric and/or gas bill the most.
When fall comes around, people also tend to switch the direction of ceiling fans to reduce energy costs. In the fall and winter, fans should rotate clockwise to recirculate the air, making it feel a few degrees warmer. Simply flip the switch on the motor housing near the pull chain when the fan is at a stop.
2. Fall Vacations
Disclaimer: You might take note of this tip for next year’s vacation. TRJ does not encourage anyone to travel at this time.
The benefits of traveling in the fall are abundant. Popular summer hotspots—beachside retreats or adventure getaways—are not only less crowded but also more affordable.
With early fall temperatures staying summer-like in many regions, you won’t make any weather-related sacrifices, either. This would be the perfect time to take your family on a once in a lifetime vacation for a lot cheaper than if you go in the summer.
Hotels, Airbnb’s, and Villas are all very reasonably priced based on where you intend to go and if you are slightly flexible.
Tripadvisor suggests that people can save up to 66% on accommodations to the US and international destinations when vacationing in the fall as opposed to the summer.
3. Flight Tickets
Airlines are more likely to have airfare sales at certain times of the year. For bargain-basement offers, check ticket prices directly after New Year’s Day or in early fall.
During these periods, most people aren’t yet thinking about vacations, and airlines are keen to drum up business. You can get a head-start on booking your winter and spring vacations for next year by waiting until early fall to book your tickets.
Websites like airfarewatchdog allow you to watch prices of airline tickets with fare watcher alerts. This can end up saving you tons. You can also watch several different sites at once for upcoming airline sales to make sure you get the best deal.
This may be a way to get a trip in that you may not have ordinarily been able to afford. This will be a great and affordable way to experience different surroundings and perhaps a different culture than the one you’re accustomed to.
4. Clothes Shopping
Fall is a great time to stock up on end-of-summer sales. You can really stock up on clothes for you and your children during this time, exploring seasonal bargain shopping. Lots of summer gear will be on sale.
This is because stores are moving the summer wear out so that they can make space for the newer fall lines. That can result in huge savings for you. It’s a win-win for everyone.
A quick money-saving parenting tip is to buy clothes for your children in a size or two larger at this time so that they can still wear it for next season. For higher-end luxury items, you can also follow the same rules.
5. A New Car?
Get bargains on new cars that are last year’s models just as the new year’s models are about to come out (up to 20% off) in October.
What does that mean for you? Huge savings!
If you need a new car and can afford to wait, that would be a smart money-saving tip that will work in your best interest.
Of course, right before the start of the year is another great time where car dealerships offer huge discounts.
6. Wrong Season Appliances
Consumers who buy lawn mowers, gas grills, and other outdoor summer equipment in the fall or winter and buy snow shovels, humidifiers, and other items they will need in the winter during the summer months are able to save a lot of money.
These are high priced items and when bought off-season, you can get more bang for your buck. When looking for the best price on a specific item, it pays to use shopping search engines like Pricegrabber.com or Google shopping, which lists prices from various online vendors for the item you are searching for.
7. U.S. Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates slipped lower over the last week, a great thing to those looking to buy a home or refinance. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.55% during the week ending Aug. 22, down five basis points from the previous week.
Rates for 30-year home loans have only increased eight times on a weekly basis so far this year—otherwise, they have dropped or remained even.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped four basis points to an average of 3.03%. The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.32%, falling three basis points.
Sellers typically put their homes on the market in greater numbers starting in the spring and peaking in summer.
Sales drop significantly when the school calendar begins in August in many parts of the country, and certainly, by the time you hit Labor Day, there is a significant drop-out in the market.
There are even fewer buyers in the fall. And because there’s less competition among buyers, inventory stays on the market longer, leading to a forced decrease in prices.
8. Grocery Shopping
Fall is a great time to save money on groceries. One way to do that is to shop at a local farmer’s market for in-season produce. You can find things like apples, butternut squash, and cauliflower, etc. This can make hearty dishes for your family.
You can also opt to buy in bulk. In the summer, you are more susceptible to making several trips to the grocery store. But as the weather is changing, no one wants to go back and forth every few days. Buying in bulk will enable you to save more money in the long run.
9. Holiday Savings
Start working toward saving goals for the holidays in September. Some say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Well, similarly, setting aside money for gifts in September means not having to battle a monstrous credit card bill in January after the holidays, when most go into ridiculous amounts of debt that they incur for most of the following year.
You can try to allocate a certain amount of money per paycheck to savings. Set a goal and stick to it.
If you have a certain amount of money that you regularly spend or try to budget for gifts, make sure you start setting an equal amount aside to get you to the saving goal by December.
Fall is at the end of a very expensive season for most and right before the holiday season, and the cold weather that winter brings which also incur additional costs.
So make the best out of this season by focusing on the different ways you can save more money to make up for all the spending through out the year.
Have you tried any of these tips too? Do you have other saving tips that you also find useful in the fall? Share them in the comments below!
Author: Kim James
From the U.S. Virgin Islands, she started her blog on personal finance because she wants everyone to be best informed about their financial possibilities for better financial health. She enjoys the beach, blogging, and reading.
Blog | Instagram