The seasons may change, but one thing always stays the same: The opportunity to begin saving more money in your budget.
Now that fall is here, you can use the cooler weather to refresh your sense of physical, emotional and financial well-being. Following are five overlooked ways to save this autumn.
1. Quit the gym and exercise outside
All summer long, you headed for the air-conditioned comfort of the gym. But now that temps have cooled down, there is no excuse not to exercise in the great outdoors.
You can get an excellent workout for free simply by taking your routine outside. That’s true even after fall and winter set in. Just bundle up and get out there!
2. Don’t wait — travel right now
As the weather cools down, the travel deals heat up. For example, fall long has been known as a great time to visit Europe. As USA Today says:
“Fall and spring are considered ‘shoulder’ season, and there are some good values for European travel with fewer restrictions or worries about traveling in winter weather.”
Travel and Leisure says October is a great time to visit the Mediterranean, as rates start falling during the month.
3. Enjoy cheap fall foods
Nothing says “fall comfort food” like a delicious slice of pie. October is a great month to bake a pumpkin pie. Other great fall pies include apple pies in September and pecan pies in November.
Why do those pies make so much sense at this time of year? Because the ingredients are in season, making these pastries even cheaper to bake.
So, whatever foods you cook, try to use fall ingredients such as apples, squash, pumpkins and root veggies, all of which are plentiful and cheap in autumn.
For more on cutting food costs, check out:
4. Shop fall sales
While everyone waits for Thanksgiving and Christmas bargains, savvy shoppers know not to overlook the more modest holidays of the season. They include:
- Columbus Day: Monday, Oct. 14
- Halloween: Thursday, Oct. 31
- Veterans Day: Monday, Nov. 11
- Small Business Saturday: Saturday, Nov. 30
Your department store is likely to schedule sales during these times. So, if you need to purchase something this fall and can afford to be patient, try to time your shopping around these holidays.
Of course, a sale is no deal if you spend yourself into debt. So keep your wits about you. For more tips, check out “10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More.”
5. Start prepping for your taxes
Alas, no matter how much fun you have this fall, you cannot completely escape reality. In life, as a famous phrase tells us, there are two things you cannot avoid. We won’t mention the first — although all those Halloween skeletons should offer a hint — but the second is taxes.
Start gathering your receipts and other important documents during the relative lull of autumn. That way, you will be able to relax during the holidays, knowing your financial house will be in order when the new year dawns and the tax deadline looms.
Preparing early for next year’s taxes gives you the time to uncover potential tax deductions. It also ensures that you won’t be rushing to gather information at the last minute, which can cause you to file late — and incur penalties.
And of course, examining all those receipts might make you think twice about unnecessary spending — do you really need another scarf?
If past mistakes have left you in tax debt, check out our Solutions Center for ways to find help.
Do you have favorite ways to save in the fall? Share them by commenting below or on our Facebook page.