Winter is almost here and that means higher energy bills, holiday shopping, and family meal budgets that might bust the bank. It’s OK. There is a way to make it through the longest months of the year without going broke.
The financial experts at Broussard Poché, LLP have insights to help you prepare your finances.
Take care of your vehicle: The changes in temperature will impact your car. You can take precautions against undue wear and tear that can add up to big financial expenses.
- First of all, make sure your tires have the correct amount of air in them. The last thing you want is to damage rims or have an unpredictable vehicle because of bad air pressure.
- Also, change your oil before we head into the colder days of winter. Oil actually works better in warmer weather so if you are even close to your regular oil change schedule, bump it up a bit to make sure your car is tip-top shape so you can avoid any costly repairs.
Watch that Thermostat: It might be a little too “old school”, but it can get you through winter effectively.
- Programmable thermostats let you adjust your heating and cooling when you’re not home. That way you can turn down the heat after you leave for work and have it turn up again automatically before you come home.
- Also, turn down the heat and bundle up. Use those sweatshirts and blankets to stay warm this winter rather than cranking up the heat. And use this time to check your home’s insulation to make sure heat isn’t leaking out through cracks.
Set Budget Goals: Use your time wisely to look ahead to the holidays and next year.
- Budget for Christmas spending beforehand. Take into account debt and current bills. There is no reason to go overboard with gifts, consider some intangible items like “Family Game Night” or “Christmas Cookie Bake-Off” as an alternative to expensive items.
- Take the extra time indoors this winter to do a bit of planning for next year. Lofty goals like, buying a new house or car will take some extra planning. You may want to contact your financial advisor for some consulting and managing of expectations.
Use flexible spending: Remember it’s your money, don’t lose it!
- Employees who have contributed money to flexible spending accounts usually have until the end of the year to spend that money. Check to see what’s eligible, things like new glasses, dental exams, and physical therapy will probably be on your list.
Even if you just have time to get through a few of these suggestions, you’ll notice the savings. The experts at Broussard Poché, LLP can also help if you want to get a jump on some more complicated financial matters when you’re setting goals for your future.