Common Winter Expenses: Plan, Prepare and Save!

The winter months are officially upon us and with them comes an entirely different set of expenses. From the heating bills to the kids snow gear, winter is a great time to plan and prepare for those common things we all pay for year to year. To be at least somewhat ready, here is a list of common winter expenses to plan for ahead of time.

1. Heating cost – This is the most obvious and the one that can really drain your utility budget. But you can plan for this by checking the house for cracks that let the heat escape and seal them. Also, insulate the attic and replace window screens with storm windows. All of these measures will help ensure that the cold air stays out and the hot air stays in.

2. Winter clothes – This can really add up fast if you’re unprepared for all the winter coats, gloves, pants and hats you and your entire family will need. A great way to avoid paying retail is to buy these things in the off-season. Pick up coats and sweaters in the summer months and you’ll save tons of money.

3. Car repair – Depending on if you get snow or not, winter can be very hard on your car. To avoid getting stranded on the side of the highway in three feet of snow, winterize your car. You can do this by having a certified mechanic make sure everything is in good working condition. Keep your tires properly inflated and if there’s any doubt on the tread, replace them. Sliding on ice is horrifying enough without bald tires.

4. Wrap up that water heater – Did you know that a water heater blanket is an actual thing? It is and you can wrap it around your tank to preserve the hot water. It will stay hotter, longer, and be more efficient.

5. Clean out the gutters – This one may seem like an uncommon example but if you’re gutters are prone to freezing, leaving them clogged will only cause problems. If water is trapped in the gutter and freezes, the expanded ice has the potential to crack and ruin your gutters. Also, the weight of ice and snow on clogged gutters can cause them to detach from the house entirely. There’s no fixing that and no one wants to pay for replacing gutters.

The winter months don’t have to be all cold and dreary. If you really want to take advantage of your winter wonderland, cut your yearly expenses by going through this list. Just like anything else, the sting of the winter can be greatly diminished by preparing ahead of time.

About the Contributor

Northwest Georgia Bank is a Chattanooga bank that offers leading services such as business checking in Hixson, TN, and medical savings accounts in Ooltewah, TN. We are proud to serve the greater Chattanooga metro area with unbeatable customer service.

*Image: Michal Marcol /*