Fall isn’t here yet but I’ve already made a few dozen of my healthy pumpkin pancakes to store in the freezer for a quick meal for my toddler as we prepare for baby #2’s arrival. Pinterest is blowing up with fall comfort food, pumpkin everything, and comfy clothing. Bathing suits, tank tops, and shorts will soon be stored away while hoodies, jeans, and sweatpants will once again make an appearance on the retail shelves. Maybe you don’t live in a location that has 4 distinct seasons like we do here in Michigan, but there’s still no doubt that, regardless of where you live, a different set of temptations accompany the arrival of fall. I’m a dietitian so talking food is what comes naturally for me, but I want to talk about a different kind of weight gain that may come with the fall season- financial weight gain.
What is Financial Weight Gain?
I’m not talking about a good type of financial weight gain like your wallet getting thicker from making more money. I’m talking about financial weight gain in the sense in that we get more and more relaxed with our spending and spontaneous purchases are likely to be a reoccurrence. Here are 3 quick tips that will help you enter the fall season prepared so you can stay on track with your goals and not let money slip away:
1. Plan for the holidays
I hate to tell you this, but after fall comes winter. It happens every year. With winter comes holiday shopping. It may seem too early to be talking about the holidays but if you plan to buy gifts for anyone then it would be wise to make sure you actually have money so you can buy those gifts. Say no to credit card debt and crazy-high interest rates; it’s not too late to set aside a chunk of your income each month so that you have gift money upfront and aren’t hoping you can pay it off once the new year starts. I say this often: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Michigan is the place to be in the summer. We’ve literally got Great Lakes all around with so much to see and much of it for free. However, once the cooler weather rolls in everyone longs to be somewhere South and most of us only go outside when necessary. Don’t let the cooler weather blow your entertainment budget; find cheap ways to stay entertained. Need ideas where to start? Check out a cider mill, host a sweater party, rent a movie from RedBox or your library, go for a walk, host a freezer meal party, check out free events on your community calendar, read that book you’ve been wanting to dig into, or have someone over for a cup of coffee that costs $0.25 to make yourself rather than buying a $4 latte from Starbucks.
3. Seek out end-of-season deals
Stores are releasing their new fall clothing lines with “great” deals and styles. It can be tempting to jump on the latest trend. Does anyone really not enjoy adding new clothes to their wardrobe? However, the deals usually aren’t that great and the temptation to buy more than what you really planned for is very enticing. Instead of dropping your hard-earned money on new trends, use some of your clothing fund (note: NOT a spontaneous purchase) to grab real deals on summer clearance items. Maybe your shorts are getting a little worn out; you could restock on a few pairs for next year while only paying a fraction of the price they initially were at the beginning of summer when that season was the hot trend.
Other options are to browse consignment shops like ThredUP or host a clothing swap to find what you are looking for. The same can apply to other summer-y items like picnic utensils, beach towels, and patio furniture since stores are drastically dropping the prices in order to make room for fall items. Avoid the temptation to have the newest thing for the sake of your wallet.
It can be challenging not to spend money as the hype of a new season approaches. You don’t have to be a stickler about everything, but like I said, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Most of you who follow this blog have set financial goals for yourselves and desire accountability so you can reach them. Let this be a little nudge that sets you on the right track financially as we welcome fall while avoiding financial weight gain.
Where does your financial weight gain typically come from? Clothing? Home decor? Maybe random entertainment?
This post has been written by Jessica from BudgetForHealth.com
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.