Winter is often a tough time for low-income families, even more so this year with higher than typical inflation throughout 2022. Many moderate income Americans also struggle to make ends meet. But there are some things to do to help save money during the 2022 winter and holiday season.
Many people are facing financial struggles with rising living costs due to inflation. With hefty heating bills (not to mention increasing ~7% year over year), holiday costs including Christmas toys or gifts, groceries up around ~10% this year and the urge to prepare for the New Year, many will spend more than usual during the 2022 season. While the job market is booming and wages increasing, those two things are not fully offsetting inflation at this point. However, with the right tips and tricks, you can reduce your costs and still bolster your savings.
Some of these tips will help you reduce your expenditure on essential costs during the winter of 2022, such as food, utilities, gasoline and basic needs. Others will help you spend responsibly to ensure you can enjoy the holidays without going overboard. Many will even help you enhance your finances long beyond winter of 2022 and well into the next year of 2023 and following. Here are several incredibly effective tips for saving money this winter.
1. Save on Your Utility Bills
Right now is an excellent time to look at your monthly utility bills and figure out how much money you can save during the costly 2022 winter heating season. While many of these costs are generally unavoidable, there are many tricks you can use to reduce them significantly. There are weatherization programs, free home energy audits from utility companies, caulking, turning down the heat, turning off lights when not in use, and quite frankly many other things. Even saving a small amount each month can add up to huge long-term savings.
Consider all your options and choose the one that makes the most sense financially. You can also call your current provider and try to negotiate a payment plan or budgeting billing. Many companies will be striving to keep customers around – they do not want to shut off heat during the winter if for no other reason It is bad PR for them. So they may be willing to give you a good deal – especially if you’re a loyal customer. Find other savings on utility bills.
2. Use Less Water And Electricity – Conserve
One of the most common ways to reduce your monthly expenses is to use less water and electricity, and this has been and will continue to be critical during 2022 and 2023. This is especially important during winter – you might be tempted to take more hot baths or turn your electric heater on, but these things can swiftly increase your costs and land you with hefty utility bills.
You don’t need to give up all your home comforts – simply try to reduce your usage where you can. Taking a quick, hot shower wastes less water and energy than a bath. Using thicker bed covers, blackout curtains, and warm pajamas can keep you warm so you don’t need to overuse your heater. Things like energy-efficient light bulbs and unplugging unused electronics can also make a difference.
3. Buy Your 2022 Holiday Supplies As Soon As You Can
Waiting until the middle of December to buy your holiday supplies is the worst approach for saving money, especially this year with higher prices. Prices for holiday decorations, gifts, and even food such as turkey often surge as soon as November or even right now. By buying everything you need early, you can often cut your costs significantly. In fact, one reason for higher inflation during 2022 is retailers over-ordered. Target, Wal-Mart and even Amazon (among countless others) admitted to this and they are starting to have great sales to get rid of that extra inventory.
Some people save money by buying holiday supplies out-of-season and using them year after year. Or they use use cash back websites or apps to shop. With food, it’s best to buy anything you can freeze (turkey, vegetables, desserts, etc.) long before the holiday period kicks off. You can also make huge savings on holiday gifts by buying them months in advance or taking advantage of Black Friday sales or cash back websites. The same rules apply to other seasonal holidays as well as Christmas. Find a cashback shopping site.
4. Start A Budget As Soon As Possible to Prepare for the Winter Months
Budgeting is hands-down one of the best ways to streamline your costs and put more money in your savings account. Without a budget, you often spend more than you need to, especially on unnecessary purchases. When inflation is higher, like it has been since shortly the pandemic started due to supply chain issues, federal bank policies and extra checks sent to Americans,
When you start budgeting, you’ll start finding cheaper ways around all your expenses and become much more financially responsible. Budgeting helps people who live check to check (which is most people) find the money to pay the bills each month. If inflation keeps up through 2022 (as most expect though at a lower level), budgeting is critical for the 2022 holiday season.
Some people live by a monthly budget or even a weekly budget – whichever way, it’s an exceptionally effective way to save more money. Start by streamlining your grocery bill each week until you find the best cost-quality compromise. Cut out unnecessary costs and save unnecessary purchases for another time. You’ll end up saving more each month and, by the time the holidays hit, you’ll have more savings to enjoy.
5. Rearrange Your Savings
Every few months, you should reassess your finances and figure out how you can make them go further. Check all your bank accounts – including any apps you use – and figure out where to put your money and how to divide your money each month. You’ll still need to ensure you have enough for your monthly costs in your main account, but you can often find better ways to handle your savings.
You might want to open a high-interest savings account this year, as interest rates are at decades high which will help reduce the high inflation in 2022. That way, you’ll make more interest on your money each month. Alternatively, you might want to put a portion of your savings into investments. You could also consider contributing more to a retirement fund – especially as it can net you tax savings. If you have outstanding debt, you can also contribute more savings to reduce it.
6. Don’t Overspend On Entertainment this Winter
Entertainment costs are often the biggest factor when it comes to mishandling your finances, and the 2022 holiday season promises to be costly due to demand as more people “get out” and travel. While you should still spend money on the things you enjoy, it’s a good idea to cut down on certain entertainment costs for a few months this 2022 holiday season- especially if you’re trying to save more money for winter.
If you’re using multiple subscription services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, and Spotify, try reducing it to just one. You might want to organize to share subscription services with friends and family so everyone spends less. Instead of going to restaurants or bars every week, make cheap meals and cocktails at home and invite friends around for fun and inexpensive get-togethers. It also helps to avoid overpriced events and attractions, especially during the holidays – although it’s still worth enjoying the ones that matter to you.
7. Plan For Next Year – 2023 Now
Planning is always a good way to get your finances in order. If you haven’t already started a budget and rearranged your savings and investments, the winter of 2022 is a good place to start. You can then consider how much money you’ll be earning each month, how to allocate it wisely, and how to save even more money.
You might find that you want to cancel more monthly subscriptions – or maybe you’re saving enough to add a new one. Maybe you’ll decide that you want to save an extra $5 a week on your budget to bolster your savings. You might decide that you want to pay off certain debts or put more money into investments once you get a holiday bonus. Whichever way, plan ahead to avoid wasting your money.
The 2022 holiday season doesn’t need to be expensive. On the contrary, with these tips and tricks, you’ll find that you save more money this winter. Not only that, but they’ll also help you develop good financial habits, meaning you’ll continuously waste less money, bolster your savings, and make smart decisions with your money. The earlier you start implementing these strategies into your life, the more money you’ll save.