Avoid these 6 Winter Money MistakesBy Caitlin in Money
Each season has its own set of money wasting temptations, in the warmer months the temptations are usually much more obvious like summer parties and tropical vacations. It’s pretty easy to waste money all year long but during the winter money wasting mistakes typically camouflage themselves as cold weather comforts and necessities. The best thing to do, to avoid wasting money this winter is to figure out what money mistakes you’re making. Once you know what they are you’ll be able to implement changes to stop the waste. Recognizing unnecessary costs will not only save you money but will allow you to use that money to save up for important purchases and fun winter activities. To give you a head start and help you figure out what your winter money mistakes are we’ve compiled a list of the 6 most common money wasting mistakes that people make during the cold months.
1. Ordering in Several Times a Week
When it hasn’t stop snowing for days and the temperature is so low you’re afraid to even look at the thermometer it can be extremely tempting to just order food in, a lot. Nothing beats staying inside wrapped under a cozy blanket on a particularity cold night and having someone bring you your favourite comfort food straight to your door. But guess what? The frequency of your delivery addiction could be the reason why you have trouble making rent every month or the reason why you’re the only one out of all your friends that doesn’t have an emergency fund or saving account. Sure delivery is great, especially on the weekends or for a special occasion but if you start making the call more than a couple times a month you’re basically through away this year’s savings.
Start making grocery lists and planning out a few of your meals each week, this way you’ll be able to pick up all the ingredients to make your favourite meals and won’t be as tempted to pick up the phone and order in.
2. Checking Your Bags Every Time You Travel
There always seems to be more places to travel to during the winter, whether it’s home to visit your family or to a tropical destination to escape the cold. Airline fees and baggage costs can start to add up, especially if your bag is overstuffed with presents for your family or big bulky winter clothing. If you’re constantly being hit with overweight luggage fees then you should start keeping track of all the money you’re wasting, you’ll be surprised.
3. Turning up the Heat to Keep Warm
Heat during the winter is obviously important but sometimes you can overdo it, keeping warm while it’s cold outside shouldn’t be costing you an arm and a leg. There are plenty of ways to cut the cost of heating this winter, including buying thermostat that you can program to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If you find yourself constantly walking over to the thermostat to turn up the temperature then try to distract yourself by putting on a sweater or a pair of slippers. Changing a few small details about how you heat your home will save you a significant amount of money by the end of the winter.
4. Hanging on to That Gym Membership
Almost everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions involve something to do with health or fitness, but just because you said you wanted to get fit doesn’t mean you should be throwing away your money every month. If you have a gym membership and you take advantage of it on a regular basis then you’re making a great investment in yourself and your health. If you signed up because of guilt or because there was a special offer and you haven’t gone once, you’re wasting your money. Cancel your membership and if you ever decide you want to work out choose a free option like running around your neighborhood.
5. Expensive Winter Activities and Trips
Winter is a great time to get away and there are endless cold weather activities to choose from but most of these activities come with an expensive price tag. No one wants to stay inside and sulk when they could be on a fancy ski trip or at a nice ski lodge with their friends. Instead of shelling out for these expensive activities look for less expensive alternatives and invite your friends along. Most cities have free outdoor skating rinks and you could always invite everyone back to your place for a BYOB or potluck after party.
6. Losing or Forgetting About Your Christmas Gift Cards
If you’re anything like the majority of the population then you received at least one gift card over the holiday season, do you remember what you did with it or where you put it? Every year millions of gift cards go unused, this year make it priority to use your gift cards to buy things that you would spend your own money on that way you’ll actually be saving your own money.
Everything seems like it takes more effort in the winter, but if you do take the time and put in the effort to change a few bad habits and start some new good ones you’ll start to see a difference in your bank account before you even realize it.