3 Smart Money Management Tips Revealed Through Winter Storms
By Julie Jaggernath
All of the snow shovelling we recently had to do gave me time to think about what smart money management tips we can learn from the winter weather that has hit many parts of Canada and the USA these past few months; have you been impacted too? While it’s easy to grumble about the inconvenience of icy conditions, wind chills in the double digits, and the extra work shovelling snow and cleaning up after wind storms causes, believe it or not there are money management tips you can learn if you take a step back. Curious what they might be?
Here are 3 smart things you can learn from Old Man Winter and how they impact you financially:
How to Save on Heating Costs
When temperatures drop, heating costs can soar. When you’re out shovelling, salting, and sanding your sidewalks or driveway take a look up at your snow-covered home. Do you see any icicles? If it’s cold out and the blanket of snow hasn’t started melting yet, icicles will form wherever the heat is escaping from inside your home. The same is true of any bare spots that formed on the roof before the sun came out, and melted snow around window frames, doors, and vents.
How can icicles save you money? Take pictures of where the icicles and bare or melted spots are and make a note to have your home checked for energy efficiency once the weather improves. Heat escaping our home makes it drafty and cold, it’s not environmentally conscious, and is akin to paying to heat the neighbourhood.
Why to Plan for Emergencies and Financial Storms
Emergency savings can be slow to accumulate, yet it disappears faster than Frosty on a sunny day. Winter comes with its share of added expenses, from winter maintenance on your vehicle, new boots and jackets for the kids, extra out-of-school care on snow days, insurance deductibles for unexpected disasters, and all the comes with storms and the clean up in their aftermath.
Head off a financial storm or crisis by building emergency savings into your budget. If you’re trying to pay down debt and aren’t sure you can afford to set savings aside, know that having savings available to cover unexpected expenses is one of the top tips to pay debt off faster.
What’s in Store If We Don’t Care for Our Health
Taking care of our health is of course important at every age. However, as we get older, health setback takes longer to recover from than when we were younger and overall, they take a bigger toll on us in the long term. Making healthy choices can dramatically affect not only our quality of life, but our bank account as well.
Looking at just one big task winter weather forces upon us, shovelling snow is a known trigger of heart attacks, sends countless people to the chiropractor each year, and likely causes a surge in pain medication sales at the local pharmacy. Slipping and falling on an icy walkway, or missing a last step hidden by snow, can cause twisted ankles, broken wrists and hips, and even punctured lungs. Injuries and delayed recoveries cost us time and money, and take away our enjoyment of life.
An ounce of prevention: Work towards staying healthy and in good physical shape. Maintaining our health helps limit time off work, protects against reduced income, and ultimately minimizes how much we need to budget for health-related costs, now and in the future.
Money Lessons Courtesy of Old Man Winter
Money lessons happen all around us, but unless we look to learn from our experiences, we might miss them. Whether you’re north or south of the 49th Parallel, Old Man Winter is doing his best this year to make sure we get the message that we should budget wisely, plan and save carefully, and do our best to make healthy choices all around. Will his message hit home for you, or just blow on by like a storm?