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Smart ways to save this fall

Date posted:  10/6/16 08:46:00 AM Ways to save money this fall

The end of the year is approaching, days are getting shorter and temperatures will also start feeling a bit cooler. Soon enough, you won't feel like doing anything but snuggling up under a warm blanket, sipping hot cocoa, and vegging out on the couch.

Fall is also the time when expenses start popping up from virtually everywhere - thanks, holiday shopping! From buying supplies to host family gatherings to purchasing gifts for your loved ones, your budget will feel the pressure.

Instead of cozying up to watch TV or read (though we know you want to), plan for ways to save money this season while still enjoying the final months of 2016.

Fall sales
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become mini-holidays in their own right. On Black Friday, retailers offer enticing door buster deals on popular items such as home appliances, televisions and more, while also slashing prices on hundreds of other items.

You may have to wait in line a few hours and deal with large crowds, but depending on what you're in the market for, Black Friday could be the perfect opportunity to save money and still purchase what you need. It's worth noting that in recent years, retailers have been increasing Black Friday hours. Nowadays, it's not uncommon for big box stores to open on Thanksgiving day. Make sure you balance your shopping needs with spending time with your family.

If you don't want to deal with crowds or spend more time at a store than at the dinner table, online shopping could be the perfect solution. Some stores will offer their Black Friday sales online, but not all.

According to Adobe, approximately $2.72 billion was spent online during 2015's Black Friday. This total represented a 25 percent increase year over year from 2014's numbers. You'll have to act fast when browsing online because even though you can shop from your couch, inventory is still limited.

Cyber Monday is another fall sale that has numerous options, especially for those who are comfortable with online shopping.

Small Business Saturday also occurs Thanksgiving weekend and it represents a good way for you to shop locally. Additionally, retailers will hold non-holiday weekend sales throughout the fall and winter to entice buyers. Take advantage of these sales to buy what you need without breaking the bank.

Prepare for cooler temperatures
Even if you abide by your budget, you may find that your finances are still higher than normal during the fall. Part of the problem may be your home. Poor insulation and drafts around the house can waste precious heating.

As such, you feel colder and crank up the heat, only to pay more in heating costs. Not only are you wasting heat, but your wallet is also affected.

With the weather still pleasurable, set aside a weekend to do some handy work around the home. It's better to handle this maintenance now instead of waiting until it's too late and the temperatures are too harsh. As U.S. News & World Report stated, tasks can include cleaning the furnace, taking care of window drafts, checking the insulation and fixing the roof.

You may have to spend some money to fix underlying issues throughout your home, but in the long run, you'll save on expenses by lowering your utility bills.

Taking advantage of shopping sales and fixing up your home are two smart ways to save money throughout the fall.