Here’s How Much Money We Spend Every Season, And Ways To Save Year-Round
Between holidays and vacations, plus birthdays, shopping sales and time with friends, our seasonal spending habits can really take a toll on our wallets. With so many amazing things to enjoy year-round on top of our usual monthly bills, it can be hard to cut back and save money. Have you ever wondered how much you spend every season? We’re here to break it down and offer ways that you can actually stick to a budget without missing out on all of the fun.
Cozy sweaters, colorful leaves, pumpkin and apple picking, Halloween, Thanksgiving — who doesn’t love fall? According to a LendEDU survey, Fall is the second most affordable season. People anticipate spending an average of $2,064 during fall 2018 (September, October and November) on leisure activities, events and items. Fall is definitely a time for baking, bonding with friends and family and slowing down a bit after a busy summer of travel and fun.
Save more during fall by making a few smart moves:
- Download a finance app and save. Whether you’re buying ingredients for a pie or cute new boots, download mobile apps like Ibotta to help you save everywhere you shop.
- Wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you’re looking to buy new tech gadgets or home essentials, try to hold off until the end of the fall season when you can save during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. It’ll also help you get started on your holiday shopping, which might help you save more come winter, too.
- Buy everything else at the right time. There’s a good time year-round to buy things like mattresses, appliances and more. While those cookies are in the oven, mark your calendar and wait to buy items at the best time throughout the year.
Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day… Winter is jam-packed with holidays that often cause us to spend money. According to LendEDU, people actually said that they anticipate spending $2,314 during winter 2018/2019 (December, January and February) — the most of any season. We can’t say we’re surprised considering it’s prime time to buy gifts for loved ones, celebrate the new year in style and more.
If that number makes you nervous, take a few steps to cut back on expenses and save more this winter:
- Set a budget for holiday shopping. First, stash away some cash year-round so that come the holidays, you have a little extra on hand. Then, make a list of everyone you need to buy for and do some research. You might be able to get a great deal on a gift with just a little bit of work. Lastly, download apps that’ll help you save when you shop online.
- Stock up for next year. Items go on sale after the holidays. Grab a few gifts while you can and save them for next winter. You’ll end up saving more in the long run, and future you will be thankful.
- Consider cutting the cable cord. You can save a lot of money by reevaluating how much you spend on a TV package. And since winter is the perfect time to snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa and watch Netflix, see what you can do to save money on this everyday expense and afford more of the fun stuff.
The most affordable season according to LendEDU, people spent about $1,952 in spring 2018 (March, April and May). With St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Passover, Memorial Day and more, the spring season can also get a little pricey. Plus, when the weather finally breaks, who doesn’t want to head to that rooftop bar after work for happy hour specials?
A few savings strategies can go a long way in the spring:
- BYOB. Rooftop bars are great, but so is saving money. Skip the specials and bring your own wine, beer or other fave cocktail to a BYOB-friendly restaurant with an outdoor patio. You’ll be soaking up the sun and the savings.
- DIY your decor. St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Passover are times for friends and family to get together, but don’t get caught up in the hype of seasonal flowers, eggs, candy and more. Instead, prepare in advance by getting leftover Valentine’s Day candy on sale in February — candy hearts can totally go inside an Easter egg. Opt for fake flowers that can be used year over year in your home. And you can easily make your own St. Patty’s Day shirt for just a few bucks with a tee and some puff paint.
The sweet smell of barbecues, beaches, beers and more can easily sweep you off your feet in the summer. LendEDU’s survey found that people spend an average of $2,229 during the warm summer months (June, July and August) and we totally get it. Vacation mode is tough to turn off come June, and cute bathing suits are calling our names in July.
Enjoy all of summer by making a few money moves that’ll help you save:
- Invest in a rewards credit card. If you’re going on vacation, why not use points and miles from your everyday purchases year-round to pay for it? Sign up for a rewards credit card so that you end up saving money on travel expenses in the summer.
- Take a break from the gym. The summer months are perfect for getting a workout in outside. Since many gyms allow their members to freeze their accounts, see if yours does this and then pause your membership for June, July and August. Then go for a run through the park instead of on the treadmill. The money you save can be used to buy a new bikini.
- Travel during shoulder season instead. We may think of September as fall, but in reality, most of the month is still summer. Booking a vacation at the end of the season in mid-September can help you save money on flights, hotel accommodations and attractions. Beaches are free after Labor Day, too, yet the weather is still nice enough to potentially get a tan.
Spending year-round can really add up.
Overall, LendEDU’s survey found that people anticipated spending a total of $8,559 throughout the year. That’s about $713 per month. If you think your seasonal spending habits are on par with LendEDU’s respondents, then start getting your finances together now for 2019.
Start by taking inventory of your finances. Have you gone up in salary? Do you expect a windfall of money, like a holiday bonus or large tax return in the spring?
Then, stash those checks away, plus any other money you want to save for these seasonal expenses, in a high-yield savings account.
Finally, when the seasons change, transfer that amount to your checking account. You’ll have the money you need to cover your busy fall, winter, spring or summer lifestyle of trips, holidays, food and fun, without breaking the bank.