Whether it’s planning a wedding, a graduation party, a home repair, or lawn and garden maintenance, spring can be a budget-busting season. Here are a few tips on how to save money on your big spring costs.
Homeowners can spend hundreds of dollars per year maintaining their lawns. One of the biggest expenses—and one of the easiest to cut—is the cost of lawn mowing and landscaping. You can save money by taking care of yard maintenance yourself.
Here are a few ways to save:
- Try a push reel lawn mower. More advanced than they used to be, push reel mowers not only provide a quick workout, but last for years with only minimal repairs. And, they never need gas.
- Save on watering by keeping your grass to 3 inches high. Taller grass grows deeper roots and absorbs water more efficiently. Also, letting grass clippings stay on the lawn allows the moisture of the clippings to be absorbed by the uncut grass.
- Plant seeds. An easy way to save money on your garden and enjoy more variety is to grow your plants from seeds, rather than buying them from a nursery. Seed-sharing programs can even help you get seeds for free.
- Ask a gardener. If you have a friend or neighbor who gardens, ask if they have any perennial plants that they need to divide. This is a great way to get already-established plants for your garden. Hostas, peonies, daylilies and black-eyed susans are just a few perennials that should be divided every few years.
In 2017, the average wedding in the United States cost $33,391, according to a survey by The Knot of nearly 13,000 brides and grooms. That’s a lot of money for one day. Some ideas that might work for you:
- Consider a backyard wedding. Wedding venues can cost tens of thousands of dollars to rent. Hosting a backyard wedding can drastically reduce the overall event costs.
- Buy flowers in bulk. Creating your own bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces can add a unique and cost-effective touch. You can find the best deals on seasonal flowers.
- Think outside the box. Look for non-traditional venue and catering options (local food truck, anyone?) that may charge less.
Graduation, whether it’s kindergarten, high school or college, is exciting and worth a celebration. Between booking a venue, hiring a caterer, buying decorations and renting party equipment, costs can really add up. Fortunately, a graduation party doesn’t have to break the bank. Try these cost-saving tips:
- Make it a drop-in party. You won’t have to entertain guests for too long, and it gives your graduate a chance to talk to everyone as they come.
- Provide snacks you can make yourself. You don’t have to get a caterer or provide a full meal for everyone. This will be an even better value if leftovers can be easily stored or frozen after the party.
- Consider co-hosting. Throwing a joint party for 2 graduates can cut the cost of the party in half or even allow you to make it bigger than it would otherwise be.
One of the most costly spring accomplishments is making repairs or adding on to your home. You can save money in the long run by preventing costly replacements or by boosting the value of your home. Get started with saving both now and later by:
- Learning a new skill. If it’s a simple repair or something that can be learned easily, an excellent way to save money is to try to make the repair yourself. A YouTube tutorial, $20 worth of parts at the hardware store and a few hours of your time can go a long way.
If what you want to do is something much bigger or out of your scope, it pays to:
- Shop around. Look for a contractor with a good reputation who can do the project for a good price. Check references and make sure your contractor pulls permits. You don’t want to have to hire a second contractor to fix the botched “cheapest” job from the first.
- Get efficient. Making energy-efficient repairs and upgrades to your home can save you money down the line. Installing something like a programmable thermostat can put the temperature on autopilot and annually save you about $180 on cooling and heating bills, according to Energy Star.
Keeping to a budget and saving for your future isn’t just a seasonal commitment. Learn more about saving for short- or long-term goals, and save more with some of these tricks: the future you will appreciate it.