Can You Cut Down Your Winter Budget?

Can You Cut Down Your Winter Budget? 

The days are getting shorter, the nights are longer, and the weather is overall cooler. Welcome to the winter months! While there are many things to be excited about, such as a soul-warming Thanksgiving recipe or preparing for the snow of the season, winter also comes at a cost. Your energy bills are going up! For a lot of households, energy bills have already registered an alarming peak during the first wave of the pandemic, as everyone has been staying at home. 

Additionally, we all fall victim to mild seasonal affective disorder symptoms. SAD can lead to a depressive mood, making it hard to stay warm. As a result, you are more likely to make “costly” decisions, such as ordering takeaway food or grabbing a coffee on the go to keep your hands warm. 

 

Is there anything you can do to manage your winter costs? Turning down the heater is not a viable solution. But you can use some smart tips and tricks to reduce financial pressure without making the household uncomfortable. 

Unsplash – CC0 License 

 

Create a clear goal 

As savings go, you can’t just start putting money aside without any clear objective. Indeed, you are more likely to keep your costs down if you understand what you’re trying to achieve. If you are looking to raise a specific amount, you can use smart tools, such as the Pigly.Com savings calculator, to help design a strategy. Additionally, you can also define how much you want to save throughout the winter, as this will act as your success goal. Say you want to save $2,000 over the winter months. Your savings plan can help you highlight the areas where you can cut down on expenses and the time it’ll take to reach your goal. 

 

What does a goal matter? Because you don’t know what success looks like if you don’t decide what you want to achieve. Start by checking your bills and expenses from the previous years to estimate how much you want to save. 

 

Cut down your grocery shopping

Here’s an interesting question for you: Does your grocery shopping feel more expensive in winter? You’d be surprised to find out that households typically buy more food during the colder months of the year. This has to do with the way the metabolism works. Your body burns more energy to maintain its temperature in winter. Therefore, hearty meals are a good idea to maintain a slow-burning source of energy throughout the day. 

Even if you are not familiar with human metabolic functions, most people instinctively eat more in winter. In other words, you can expect to spend more on food. However, you can reduce some of the grocery costs through your backyard garden. Growing your own vegetables and roots in winter can offer a budget-friendly alternative. You can grow squashes, potatoes, carrots, beetroots, turnips, and green cabbages, for instance. These are the ideal components of a homemade stew, without any of the costs! 

 

Insulation 101

Most properties lose some heat in winter. Your insulation is the most likely culprit. Thankfully, you can easily update an old insulation system without breaking the bank. For instance, you can change your attic insulation over the course of a weekend. Indeed, in a poorly insulated attic, cold air can come in. As a result, you’ll need to heat the house even more to compensate. 

 

Another common area that can benefit from getting insulated in your basement. The basement is often humid and cold. However, most homeowners can waterproof their basement and add insulation sheets on the walls, floor, and ceiling. 

 

Embrace spiced teas

Why is spiced tea a better alternative to the traditional cup of coffee? The simple answer is that spices help to warm your body from within. A spiced tea can raise your core body temperature more effectively and significantly than a cup of coffee. The phenomenon is called thermogenesis. Choosing teas that contain cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, for instance, can pack a healthy heat boost! 

 

Make a point of cooking from scratch

Cooking from scratch offers many advantages. Firstly, it means that you are in control of the ingredients. Rather than relying on food-processed meals or heavy sugar and fat loads – which is everything we crave in winter! –, you can cook a hearty meal with yummy thermogenering spices. Secondly, cooking at home increases the temperature indoor. It’s a good idea, for instance, to plan an oven-heated meal in the evening, as the oven will keep your home warm for longer. 

Unsplash – CC0 License 

 

In conclusion, you can help your body stay warm this winter without fearing the high grocery or energy costs. While it’s important to stay comfortable when the weather gets cold, you’d be surprised by how much difference simple switches of your habits can make. Stay warm without the financial burden this winter! 

 

3 Home Problems Worth Treating As Emergencies

Pexels – CC0 License

When maintaining our homes, oftentimes we can put off essential work until a date in which applying the remedy would be more convenient. For example, if the paint is starting to peel from your garage door, it’s understandable why you wouldn’t break out the stripping knife and paints ten minutes before you pick your children up from school.

 

However, there are some issues that if left untended, or not regularly inspected, can grow quite significantly. This can sometimes lead to work that takes much more time and requires much more expense to fully resolve.

 

Yet for those of us who aren’t experts in all matters of DIY or home construction, distinguishing one from the other can seem like a difficult task. For instance, a broken window can be boarded up initially, but how long should we leave it like this until we are truly harming the security or insulation of our home to a worrying point? Is it worth calling out that emergency number and not waiting until the weekend is over?

 

In this post, we hope to give you three examples that can aid your understanding with these matters:

 

Roof Leaks Or Faded Insulation

 

If you notice a roof leak, or feel that your insulation is damaged or ineffective, it’s important to have those two issues sorted out pronto. Of course, the first of these examples is quite obvious to see, but the second can also contribute to the first, or rather open you up to the problem after one minute of heavy rainfall. With the best attic insulation https://www.insulatekansascity.com/attic-insulation/ from Insulatek, you’re sure to have the materials necessary for resolving the problem.

 

Damp

 

Damp is not just a somewhat unattractive spread of mold on the ceiling. It can be a dangerous presence of moisture that grows both toxins and spores. This can harm the lungs of those who breathe this in, especially the elderly or newborn babies. Damp often has a particular scent, but it can sometimes be hard to detect before it becomes a real problem. This means inspecting your bathroom, your walls (behind the furniture) of every room in the house, and especially in your basement will help you find it more quickly. Furthermore, be sure to properly ventilate your home for good measure.

 

Wall Cracks

 

Wall cracks can emphasize or declare subsidence, and this can mean that the foundations are starting to lose their structural integrity, are moving, or perhaps the walls are losing their structural strength. This can be a real hazard, so it’s important to move away from that room if you can, and speak to professional construction services. Sometimes, this can denote intensive construction work as repair, and so it’s important to speak to your insurance providers to see what your options are. Yet it’s always better to incur expense than to avoid a very dangerous home situation.

 

With this advice, we hope you can take care of the 3 home problems worth treating as emergencies.