Saving money in the winter can start now

Each year, homeowners may look for good ways to save money when dealing with each season. For instance, "How can we save money this summer?" is a question many don't address until the spring is almost over. However, those who get a jump on this kind of planning could end up saving significant amounts of money over the course of a few months.

For instance, those who want to save money during the winter might want to start making a few steps in that direction these days, during the hot summer months when not many other people are thinking about bitter cold and piles of snow, to take advantage of the situation, according to U.S. News and World Report. One of the biggest ways to do that is by buying things any household would need during the winter when they're "out of season." Picking up an ice melter, shovels, cold weather clothing, and other things people usually stock up on only when winter is right around the corner could help to identify and lock in the best possible deals months in advance.

Winterizing a home
Meanwhile, those who deal with drafty apartments or houses might likewise be smart to take on some routine improvement jobs to better winterize the home, the report said. That could be as simple as putting some caulk on broken seals around windows and doorways - a cheap fix that can end up paying for itself many times over during both summer and winter - but also doing some more expensive duct work to make sure heat isn't escaping through pipes where it shouldn't.

Finally, it might also be a good idea to invest in a programmable thermostat that can serve to make an entire home more cost effective, the report said. By setting it so that temperatures aren't as warm during the winter (or cool during the summer) when no one is going to be home anyway - such as during the work or school day - families can save a lot of money annually.

Getting cars ready
Likewise, driving often gets a little more difficult in the winter, and a bit of routine service now can also go a long way, the report said. For instance, making sure brakes and brake pads work as well as they should can be crucial for drivers during the winter, as can ensuring they have the right set of tires on hand. And while these things aren't likely to be any cheaper in the summer than the winter, putting aside money for them now could avoid the larger one-time expense a few months from now.

Of course, any money that can be saved using these efforts, and others, might be better invested in paying down debt or building a savings account for a rainy day. That, in turn, can help consumers potentially improve their financial and credit standings by a significant margin over the course of just a few months or more.

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