Are people saving money with this warm start to winter?

It's a trend that many Americans have likely noticed in the last month or so: The chilly weather that usually accompanies the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas has not really shown up so far this year. From the upper Midwest to the Northeast, the millions of consumers who are usually turning up the heat and bundling up for the winter weather are instead still walking around in light jackets and enjoying a little more time they can spend comfortably outdoors.

However, what many of those people might not know is that this provides them a significant savings opportunity if they are able to take advantage of it. In fact, the savings from not having to turn on the heat for an extra month - or simply keeping it set at a lower temperature - are likely to be fairly significant. Some might be uncomfortable with the idea, though, as it still does get a little chilly at night. But those who can simply wear an extra layer during the day and sleep under an extra blanket could find that this ends up being a very cost-effective move that could save them plenty of money until the weather turns colder.

Other ways this can be helpful
In addition, this can also help many Americans in terms of saving on other winter time expenses, such as the cost of materials used in clearing out snow, including those for rock salt or new shovels. Of course, those who are running low on salt or need a new shovel anyway shouldn't put off such a purchase. After all, when snow starts to fall, they wouldn't want to be left trying to find the last shovel at the local hardware store, but it might allow them to delay those purchases at least a little bit longer.

Further, though, consumers may also be able to make improvements to their homes with the money now being freed up, such as re-sealing the areas around doors and windows, to save even more over the course of the year. That may sound like spending money that was immediately saved, but it's actually more of an investment that would provide benefits all year long.

Getting smarter about winter
Beyond all that, though, there are things consumers can do when the cold weather actually arrives that could likewise go a long way toward helping them save money. For instance, if they have a "smart" thermostat that can be set via a smartphone or put on a timer, turning the heat down when no one is home (i.e. during school or work hours) could be a great way to cut costs when temperatures drop. Further, turning down the temperature of a home's water heater just a little bit will make little difference to people taking a shower, but could end up saving a lot of money over the course of an entire year.

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