For many of us, autumn is the calm before the [financial] storm that is December. And if you happen to be a small business owner keeping good records (see last month’s “Timely Topic” on Good Bookkeeping), you may have discovered that this is a time of year when business slows and your income takes a dip. That makes this the perfect time to button up your coat – and your spending – by looking for deals that let you keep more money in your pocket.
- Household Most utility companies offer plans that normalize payments over a 12-month period. Having a consistent payment plan gives you greater control over your household budget. Louisville residents can learn more and signup for LG&E’s plan here: https://lge-ku.com/newsletters/22556/22521.
- Auto If you aren’t already buying your gas from a membership wholesaler (such as Sam’s or Costco) check with your local grocery store to see if they have a gas savings program. Many (including Kroger) offer substantial gas discounts for customers who buy groceries using a reward or loyalty card. For non-reward purchases, visit gasbuddy.com to see who has the least expensive fuel in your area.
- Shopping Look for every deal you can. For any planned purchase, type the name of the manufacturer, brand, or vendor in your search engine. The internet is flooded with coupons, savings codes, and deals for people who are willing to take a few minutes to look for them.
Here are a few sites you may want to check regularly:
- Visit giftcardgranny.com to buy gift cards for less than face value.
- In Louisville, check out the weekly WDRB Be Our Guest deal that lets you get restaurant gift cards for half off: https://wdrb.incentrev.com/category/local.
- Visit the master of coupons, https://www.groupon.com, to find savings on everything from goods and services to activites and entertainment.
- Entertainment Believe it or not, there’s still lots of free fun to be had in this world.
- Visit your local library. They host a treasure-trove of things to read, watch, and listen to.
- Volunteer at festivals. Most cultural festivals and events offer free admission to volunteers. Contact your favorite fair, festival, art show, or cultural event for details.
- Organize a swap party. Invite friends to bring gently used clothing, books, toys, whatever to the event. Guests receive a ticket for each item they bring. Each ticket is good for one new-to-them item. All leftover items can be donated to charity. This is a great way to declutter, find a new favorite, and visit with friends all at the same time – for free!
Check back with us next month as we help you brainstorm meaningful gifts that won’t break the bank.