Skip to Main Content

Fall Back in Line with Your Budget

September 4, 2020

Did a summer vacation or back-to-school expenses throw your checking or savings account out of whack? With the holidays around the corner, you may be eager to get your budget back on track. Hit the reset button this fall with these tips for smart money management.

Hold off on the heat.

September and October may have mild enough weather to go without heat or air conditioning. Save on utility costs by grabbing a sweater or an extra blanket instead of turning on the thermostat.

Seek out free or low-cost entertainment.

Although fall events such as harvest festivals and haunted houses may not happen in a typical fashion, you can still celebrate the season while maintaining social distance.  Local farms may offer pick-your-own apples and pumpkins with safety protocols in place. A walk or hike to see nature’s changing colors can be free!

Plan meals in advance.

If summer had you on-the-go and eating out more, fall can be the time to cozy up with a slow cooker and stay in. Plan larger meals and freeze leftovers so you can still have convenience at home.

Do a fall cleaning.

Now’s a great time to see what you have around the house that you no longer need. Consider selling furniture or consigning clothing that’s in good shape for extra cash, and put the money you make in savings.

Call your insurance, cable, and internet providers.

It never hurts to ask if there’s an option to reduce your current bills.

Maintain your emergency fund.

Having an emergency fund of at least $1,000 is a good idea to help cover an unexpected car repair or medical cost. Building up to a cushion of three to six months’ worth of living expenses can give you even greater peace of mind.

Set a specific plan for holiday shopping.

If past years had you scrambling for last-minute gifts and overspending, consider using early fall to prepare a gift plan and budget to shop earlier and smarter, and spend less.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as legal, financial, investment or tax advice or indicate that a specific DCU product or service is right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a financial professional.