Summer is coming to an end and fall is starting to make its way across the country.
Depending on where you live, you might start seeing changing leaves or the appearance of pumpkin spice on what seems like every shelf of the grocery store. No matter where you are enjoying the changing season, you have the opportunity to save money this fall.
Let’s take a look at the options you have to make a dent in your savings goals this fall season.
1. Get a bank bonus
A bank bonus can easily add a few hundred dollars to your savings stash. Luckily, many banks are offering worthwhile cash bonuses for opening an account at their institution. Take a minute to look over the best bank bonus options of the season to make sure you find the best option for your situation.
You might be surprised how much you can earn from making a small change in your banking habits. But watch out for monthly fees that could eat into your earnings.
2. Craft a plan for your savings
Without a plan for your savings, it can be difficult to find the motivation to save anything at all. With that in mind, take a minute to consider your savings goals. A few might include: saving for retirement, building a down payment for your first home, or paying for the vacation that you’ve been craving.
No matter what you are saving for, automating your savings can help you reach your goals.
“By setting up an automated deposit schedule into another account, you are implementing a big personal finance skill: Discipline,” says Luke Lloyd, wealth advisor and investment strategist at Strategic Wealth Partners. “Discipline combined with consistency can greatly improve a person’s financial situation. By taking money out of your checking account and putting into a ‘do not touch’ account, you will be less likely to spend the money and in the long run, save much more.”
Take a minute to set up an automatic savings plan to reach your savings goals this fall. Or, try a fintech app to do the task for you.
3. Review your expenses
Reviewing your expenses is a tried-and-true method to increase your savings. When you take a closer look at your spending habits, you might be surprised to find clear ways to reduce your expenses hiding in plain sight.
“Comb through your last bank statement, going line by line,” recommends Allie Fleder, COO of SimplyWise, a fintech startup. “Sounds simple enough — and we all mean to do it, but we never actually do — but you’ll find an unbelievable number of regular purchases and subscriptions you didn’t even know you were paying. Go ahead and cancel them.”
If you want to take things a step further, you can use services like Truebill or Billshark to negotiate any bills that look too high, she recommends. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars without disrupting your existing services.
4. Sell summer clothes that you don’t love
Take a look around your closet. Are there any summer clothes that you simply didn’t wear this summer? Maybe you picked up a sundress that looked cute on the hanger but isn’t comfortable to wear? Or maybe you still have a tourist tank top from a summer destination that didn’t see the sun this season?
It might be time to part with seasonal summer clothes that aren’t being used. If you didn’t wear something this summer, it is likely the same clothes will stay in your closet next summer as well.
Instead of allowing these items to take up coveted closet space, consider selling these clothes for extra income. Check out your local consignment store, Poshmark, or host a yard sale to eliminate any summer items that you don’t need anymore.
5. Seek out frugal fall fun
As the fall kicks off, you may find more opportunities for frugal fun in the cooler weather.
“Your options include apple picking festivals, pumpkin picking outings, drive-in movies, outdoor corn mazes, haunted houses and numerous other types of family oriented outdoor harvest activities,” says Dino Selita, co-founder and president of The Debt Relief Company.
You’ll be able to find a fun activity within budget because there is a lot to do for very little in fall. “So don’t feel that you have to be stuck at home in order to keep your budget slim this year,” he says.
6. Decorate without breaking the bank
The spirit of fall can inspire you to redecorate your home to include the theme of pumpkins and fall colors. But the temptation of buying many traditional fall decorations that are available at stores across the country could derail your savings goals.
“To help save money this fall, skip out on the home decor section at the store,” says Allison Baggerly, creator of Inspired Budget. “Instead, head outdoors and clip greenery or fall foliage. Simply pop your free decorations into a simple vase or even a glass for the fall look you’re searching for.”
Additionally, consider getting creative with your Halloween costume options. Instead of purchasing a new costume, consider swapping one with a friend. Don’t be afraid to get creative and transform a costume through your DIY abilities to make an old costume look brand new.
7. Budget ahead of time for the holidays
The beginning of fall means that the holiday season is quickly approaching. If you are like many households across the country, an increase in holiday spending puts extra pressure on your finances.
Jonathan Hess, founder of Hess Financial Coaching, recommends preparing ahead of time for holiday spending. “Think about who will be receiving gifts from you, and budget a set amount per person,” Hess says. “This will allow you to easily plan and stick to a fixed amount and budget all of your other expenses accordingly.”
As you prepare for holiday shopping, seek out discounts. If you prefer online shopping, then consider using a service like Rakuten to get great cash back opportunities.
With a plan for your holiday spending in mind, you can enjoy the upcoming holiday season without stressful spending.
The fall season can be a nice change of pace. Consider switching up your spending habits with these tips to transform your bank account this season. As the leaves change, you can enjoy the changes of your financial habits as well.