By Lynn Viesti Berube
According to the American Research Group, the average person will spend $929 buying gifts for everyone on their holiday shopping list this year. This added expense can make planning your budget during the winter months particularly challenging—especially considering the fact that you’ll incur other unique seasonal expenses as well. In order to make sure you can enjoy the holidays without neglecting your other responsibilities, consider the following winter projects you can complete for under $250.
Conduct an energy audit: For just $99, you can have experts come to your home to assess your energy efficiency. Auditors will check for inefficient lighting, poor insulation and other attributes that may lead to higher utility costs. Auditors will also provide services to address inefficiencies, making a home energy audit one of most impactful winter projects you can tackle.
Winterize your car: It is important to take extra precautions with your vehicle during the winter months. You can get an inexpensive set of winter tires for less than $250. You may also want to invest in a set of wiper blades suited for ice removal. Putting together a winter safety kit is also imperative in the event that you become stranded in the cold. Flashlights, batteries, food and blankets are items you may want to include that you may even have around the house already.
Insulate your mechanicals: Much of the energy you consume during the winter goes through your furnace or hot water heater. Did you know that much of the heat that your mechanicals generate is lost because your basement is cold? You can pick up special insulation for as little as $10 at your local supply store and help to minimize your energy bills during the winter months.
DIY recreation: Making your own fun can be challenging during the winter too. Skiing is expensive and many of the other recreations you enjoy may not be possible in the chilly weather. If you’re looking for a creative and cost-effective way to enjoy the weather, why not make snowshoes for you and your family? You can make snowshoes with items you likely already have around the house and will help you get exercise while enjoying the beauty of Connecticut winters. Click here to see for yourself.
Install a smart thermostat: Installing a smart thermostat will help you manage your energy consumption to keep your monthly bills low during the winter. But it will also enable you to make your home more comfortable too. You can remotely turn up the thermostat before your commute home from work to make sure that it’s cozy by the time you arrive. Popular brands like Nest are available for $250, with lesser known models even less costly still.
To learn more ways to save this winter, check out Milford Bank’s Online Learning Center here.