The autumn season is lovely and every bit worth enjoying in the UK. It’s the last slice of gorgeousness and festivity we get to experience before we head into the frosty winters the UK is infamous for.
This year has put us through rough and uncertain times. The lockdown has left a lot of questions and financial uncertainties in its wake and we are still not sure about the future.
In this situation, we need a break and autumn the season of cozy festiveness, togetherness and renewal provides us the perfect opportunity – and don’t worry about the money. There are plenty of smart and budget-friendly ways to relax and enjoy the autumn season.
Here are 11 wallet-friendly ways to have fun and save some money this autumn:
Think of Your Energy Costs
Winter is just around the corner and before you know it, you would be relying on amenities like central heating. One way to cut down on future energy costs is to check if you’re presently paying more than you need to.
Most suppliers tend to increase their prices during winter seasons (when the demand is high) so now is the right time to recheck, compare, and switch to more cost-effective alternatives. You can use a comparison site like uswitch to find better quotes.
Decluttering is so important, especially since we’re coming right out of a lockdown. If you are feeling a bit guilty of overspending during these trifling times and are surrounded by items you don’t need anymore, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one in this situation.
According to research, up to 77% of consumers spent more during this pandemic. For some people, buying new items, trying new hobbies, and learning new skills become a way to cope with the tedium and the boredom of the lockdown.
If there are any unwanted pandemic purchases gathering dust in a corner, now is the best time to declutter your space. You can sell such items on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Gumtree or try local vintage stores that buy back items. For clothing, try thrift shops or online spaces like ThredUP. Add all the money you make from selling such items directly into your savings.
Plan a Budget Day Out
Going out alone, with your friends or loved ones does not have to be expensive. All you need is a bit of preparation and financial planning.
Tourist attractions and other such locations reopened in the UK in late summer (around July) already – but you can do your own research and identify picnic spots, beautiful locations, and local attractions that are free to visit or offering discounts. From museums to art galleries, castles to country houses, and even local farms, you will find plenty of options.
Once you find a free location, get with your loved ones to plan your outing. If you are on a tight budget, make your snacks, pack your lunch, and take it with you.
Sometimes museums, zoos, and aquariums offer freebies, games, and activities. If you’re going with children, keep an eye out for all such free activities you can enjoy with them.
This autumn, mark a few ‘no-spend’ weekends on your calendar. Going a whole week without spending any money sounds impossible and drastic – but you can take baby steps and build up your savings by going money free for two days.
Scheduling a no-spend weekend also takes a bit of planning and preparation. Cook your own meals at home, skip commodities and alcohol for a weekend and call your friends over to pour your heart out in conversations (like the old times!) – or just stay in bed and enjoy some quality entertainment on Netflix!
Smart Holiday Shopping
Holidays don’t have to be boring if you’re budgeting. Instead of snipping corners and denying yourself all the fun, you can prepare a bit pre-hand and be smart with your spending.
Autumn is a month marked with festivals, harvest, and celebration. That is exactly why you end up spending a bit more than you planned every year.
But there are smart ways to cut down on expenses like instead of buying your child a brand new Halloween costume that will probably be worn only once a year and then discarded, try trading costumes with other parents in your neighbourhood.
Instead of shopping for Christmas gifts right at the end of the year, make a gifting budget yourself and start early in autumn. This way, you won’t miss out on any late summer or pre-season sales.
Make Travel Arrangements for Holiday Season
If you are sure that you are going to be travelling to meet your loved ones this Christmas or New Year, now is the right time to make travel arrangements, book rooms, and buy tickets.
If you are travelling by air or train, it makes sense to book right now. That’s because plane and train tickets get more expensive the closer you book to the date of departure. Trains also become busy and overcrowded during winter holidays so booking early can help enormously. The same goes for accommodation and hotel rooms.
Cook with Seasonal Ingredients
Cooking with seasonal ingredients is one of the best ways to embrace the spirit of the season, stay healthy and save up at the same time. Autumn is typically the harvest season so you will find a lot of fresh produce, nutrient-packed fruits, and healthy vegetables in the local market.
Cooking at home with fresh in-season ingredients is a healthier alternative to takeaway and junk food – and you will be surprised at how much you can save this way.
Look up seasonal produce, identify recipes that make use of them, and incorporate them into your meal plan. In-season produce from local farms is fresher and costs less because it is widely available. Try this, both your body and wallet will thank you later!
Make Your Own Drinks
Routine life is stressful and some of us rely too much on the power of coffee to get us through the day – and even more so in autumn. Buying a pumpkin spiced latte on your way to work occasionally is okay but making a routine out of it is an expensive and unsustainable habit.
That’s why it’s better to brew your coffee. If you are a coffee lover, make yourself some coffee, pour it in a flask and take it with you instead of buying it every time you need a shot of energy. You can even make your own homemade espresso drinks by using cold brew, a variety of syrups, and milk.
As the weather gets chillier and the days become smaller, you will be spending more time at home. Utilising this time to check out your space and make it cozy for winters is a great idea that will save you a lot of time, money, and energy later.
Use this time for any necessary repairs and maintenance work. If your home insurance policy is due for renewal, make sure you update it before the holiday season. You should also check:
– If your boiler is well-serviced and working properly.
– Your loft is adequately insulated.
– Your windows and doors aren’t letting in any drafts.
– Your garden is trimmed and ready for winter.
– You have enough timber if you have a fireplace.
Budget for Holidays
Autumn is already here, and the holiday season is only a few months away. It is a smart move to budget ahead for holiday gifts. Calculate how much holiday gifts and giveaways cost you last year, create a gifting budget based on it and begin setting money aside for Christmas holidays.
Get Your Vehicle Ready
If you own a car, prepare it for winter conditions as soon as you can. The autumn season is relatively short in the UK and soon, the roads will be icy.
This is the right time to look for a garage that offers discounts and deals on getting your car ready for the winter season. They’ll check your car, its tyres, breaks, fluid levels, and look for any mechanical issue that can cause your vehicle to break down on a cold night.
Also, if your vehicle insurance is due for renewal, spend some time researching and comparing quotes. It may be possible to save up more by getting a cheaper deal.
Get Debt Help
So worried about money that you cannot even contemplate autumn savings? It could be a sign that you are financially struggling and need help with debt. Money Advisor is here to help. Get in touch with our friendly and impartial specialists for resources and expert debt help.