Debt: it’s almost unavoidable, especially for those important purchases like your house or your car.
But if you want to go all the way to success, it’s the little savings that help you to pay down debt and fast-track your way to financial security.
We take a look at the money-saving tricks that help you to live the lifestyle you like without a credit card bill to match.
11 Tricks to Save Money
1. Check Out Your Tax Performance
Tax evasion is a criminal offense, but there’s nothing to stop you from maximizing your tax-deductible expenditure within reason. You still have time to adjust your spend on deductibles before the end of the tax year.
If you look like having extra cash, investigate the tax implications of putting some extra money aside for your retirement nest egg.
2. Update Your Wardrobe Late
Fall is the time to buy winter clothes, and all the tempting new fashions are fresh new arrivals. If you love this winter’s look and are aiming for a wardrobe update, look the other way when passing those shop window displays.
If you don’t have important basics like a serviceable winter coat, you might just have to shop now, but it’s definitely not the time to get the best deals.
If you can’t wait till after Christmas when the big reductions hit, think about what you’ll need for next winter and shop for those items at reduced prices. Now that you’ve changed your winter clothing shopping pattern, you can skip next fall’s high-priced clothing and wait for the bargains.
3. Start Planning for Christmas (If You Haven’t Already)
Christmas shopping is a real budget buster. Ideally, you should think of Christmas shopping all year round. That way, you have twelve months over which you can spread your Christmas shopping budget.
If you’ve been a last-minute Christmas shopper up till now, you can still spread your budget a little making the post-New Year financial doldrums less of a bind than they ordinarily are.
As with all kinds of spending and tricks to save money, be sure to start with a budgeting exercise.
4. Prepare Your Home for Winter Energy Savings
How energy-efficient is your home? Look into things like ceiling insulation, and chinks around doors or windows that will let in the chill. A little caulking can go a long way and it’s an easy fall DIY job.
You do need some ventilation, but you don’t want sneaky chills making you reach for the thermostat switch.
If you don’t already have one, get a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts heat down for eight hours a day. It could save you as much as 12 percent on your heating costs.
One of the best tricks to save money is to check your heating system and get professional help if need be.
A well-maintained HVAC system is energy efficient – and if you can avoid emergency callouts in the depths of winter, you could stand to save a lot more.
5. Protect Against Moisture Damage by Cleaning Out Gutters
Fall leaves are a joy to behold, but they can easily end up in gutters where they can clog the flow of water headed for the downspouts.
If this happens in freezing temperatures, the resulting ice can wreak havoc, damaging your home’s structure and the guttering itself.
Take preventative action. You won’t know how much you saved, but chances are, it could run into hundreds of dollars.
6. Shop for Next Summer’s Outdoor Activities
Whether its garden furniture, pool toys, or lawnmowers, fall is the time to get bargains on things you’ll use outdoors next summer.
Retailers will be eager to clear out leftover summer stock to make room for the products they carry to satisfy seasonal demand, so you could be in for some really big savings.
7. Do Some Seasonal Décor DIY
Everybody loves to have a home that looks welcoming.
In summer, flowers take the front seat, but in fall, our thoughts turn to those gorgeous fall wreaths. Try to make your own if you want to try the best tricks to save money.
You can also take the kids out hunting for cheap and free things to make Halloween and Christmas decorations.
Whatever the season, there are DIY décor alternatives that don’t take long to make and that give you an outlet for your creativity.
8. Consider Ditching Your Gym Membership
If you’re not on a long gym contract, think about giving it a break until next spring.
With shorter days and winter chills, a lot of us get lazy with gym attendance. If this is you, consider working out a home fitness routine and let the gym subscription go.
You can always pick it up again when you’re more likely to make the trip to the gym.
Avoid buying home fitness equipment unless you’re absolutely certain it will get a lot of use. You can do a lot with your own body weight and everyday things like a chair (for those tricep dips) or a flight of stairs (Standing calf raises).
9. Entertaining? Let Your Friends Contribute
Chances are you’ll be doing some fall entertaining. You don’t have to supply absolutely everything yourself.
In fact, if you’re looking for more tricks to save money, it’s lots of fun sampling your friends’ cooking along with your own at a potluck get-together.
If you’re worried you’ll end up with duplication, ask for a sneak preview of ideas. As for the booze, have everyone bring their favorite tipple.
10. Plan Fun, Free Entertainment and Outings
Instead of paying other people to keep you entertained, you can have fun for free. But it will take a planning and a bit of creative thinking.
At this time of year, there’ll be lots of festivals in the run-up to winter. Join community celebrations and pick up the happy vibes.
Keep an eye out for happenings you can attend for free or make your own, such as inviting a few friends around for a game of cards or to watch the big football game.
11. Reaching Success Through Saving – Every Bit Counts
To a large extent, our personal finances determine our overall success.
With rising interest rates, debt is becoming more difficult to pay down than it was before, so keeping in the green makes sense.
If you already have interest-bearing debts, use your fall savings to cut their cost to you – and remember that compounding means a small payment can make a big difference.
These tricks to save money should be enough to help you enjoy autumn on a budget.