Financial advisers favor Fall – the scenic season of colorful leaves – as one of the best times of the year for consumers to re-assess their savings goals. Maybe it’s the chill in the air and the drop in humidity, as well as the realization that the holidays are approaching and, all of a sudden, there are gifts to give. Or maybe it’s the fact that year’s end is within sight, when reconciliations and resolutions are in order.
Whatever the answer, it’s a good idea right now to get back on track with the proverbial piggy bank.
“During summer, we often overspend, as the hot temperatures result in more travel, frequent dining out and attending costly events like weddings,” a U.S. News & World Report article states.
Here are a few tips for recuperating from the third quarter.
Eat at home
More comfortable climes in the kitchen make preparing a family meal less of a chore. And because your air-conditioner is getting a break, you don’t have to worry about ovens and stoves causing your unit to work more. Take advantage of autumn’s abundance of fruits and vegetables – apples and pears, cranberries and figs and potatoes and pumpkins – and enjoy healthy-harvest breakfasts, lunches and dinners. “Bonus money-saving tip: Look for ‘ugly’ fruit or vegetables, often offered at a steep discount because their shapes aren’t ideal,” U.S. News & World Report suggests.
Save on entertainment
Fall festivals are in full swing, and most of them are free. Skip the movie and the museum, and head to a farmers’ market, a Halloween haunt and an Octoberfest. Another U.S. News & World Report bonus money-saving tip: “Pledge to have a ‘no-spend’ weekend once a month. Challenge yourself to find completely free activities. And if you’re headed out for the day, make sure to bring a bag lunch.”
Take it outside
Instead of paying gym dues, put your membership on hold and opt to exercise outdoors. With the weather on your side, you can bike and hike pleasantly and enjoy the views of shedding trees and splendid sunsets. Local, state and national parks have a variety of recreational opportunities for both pedalers and pedestrians. Sign up for a 5K, a 10K or a turkey trot in your area.
Decorate for less
While you’re out biking or hiking, collect those beautiful leaves, as well as nuts, seeds, twigs and other bits of nature, for use in creating Fall wreaths or holiday table settings. You’ll be surprised what you can do without having to stock up on supplies from your local craft store. Try your hand at some DIY decorating ideas from Pinterest.