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Bottom Line Up Front

  • With the holidays coming up, autumn can be an expensive time of year, but a little planning can help you avoid a cash crunch.
  • Take the time each year to review your spending habits and negotiate better deals for ongoing expenses.
  • It’s cheaper to pay up-front to take care of your home ahead of winter than to wait for repairs or higher costs to hit later.

Time to Read

3 minutes

May 16, 2022

Fall is in full swing, and along with its changing leaves and weather comes the opportunity to transform money management. Take a fresh look at your personal finances and ways to avoid overspending on autumn expenses. Here are some helpful money-saving tips to get you started.

Negotiate Monthly Expenses

Tip:  Review your monthly bills, then call your service providers and ask for ways to lower your payments, like bundling services or even moving to paperless billing. These companies want to keep you as a customer and are typically willing to work with you to hold onto your business. 

Tip: It never hurts to get quotes on auto and homeowners insurance, and October through December is open enrollment season for government health insurance plans and some company-sponsored health plans. Asking can save you a lot of money, so make sure you’re getting the best coverage at the best rate possible. 

Review Your Subscriptions

Tip: Make a list of your subscriptions (such as streaming services) and the cost of each. Are you using the subscriptions enough to justify the amount of money? Are there lower-cost alternatives? Subscription services add up―reviewing annually keeps them in check. 

Do Preventive Home Maintenance

Tip: Tackle timely home repairs. Roof repairs and gutter cleaning might be an expense, but they’ll prevent water damage that might hit your emergency fund later on. Be sure to clean out your furnace filter to save money on heating, and check your insulation and window seals to ensure energy efficiency and a comfortable level on your thermostat all winter.  

Fine-Tune Utility Costs

Tip: For many regions, autumn is the most temperate season of the year. Hold off on that heat and wrap yourself in a warm sweater instead. 

Tip: Request an annual budget plan from your power company so you pay the same amount every month, avoiding winter-time spikes that empty your bank account. 

Choose Low-Cost or Free Entertainment 

Tip: If you’re a football fan, consider hosting a potluck for the game or find places to watch that offer free appetizers and other specials. 

Tip: Don’t spend full price on events. Instead, check for Groupons and other local ticket deals on sporting and concert events. 

Tip: You don’t need a credit card to check out fall colors—they’re free! Visit local parks and free festivals to take in the changing season.  

Step Up Your Shopping Habits 

Tip: Plan your grocery shopping to avoid spending a lot of extra money on holiday meals, and be sure you’re getting the most rewards or cash back from the credit or debit card you use at retailers.

Tip: Check your clothes closet before you splurge on impulse buys. Note what you have and what you need. Avoid buying duplicate items and look for pieces that go with your existing wardrobe. 

Tip: Consignment and thrift stores, as well as second-hand online shopping sites, are great places to find more expensive items for less. 

Save for the Holidays 

Tip: Now is the time to set a holiday spending budget with a savings goal to match. Set aside extra cash each pay period, with automatic deposit to your savings account if possible, to reach your financial goal with less effort. 

Navy Federal Credit Union can help you save and budget year-round. Keep up to date with managing your money and tracking your spending habits with Navy Federal Credit Union's mobile* and online banking tools. 

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This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.