The first half of my life (a good 13 or 14 years) was full of epic snowfalls, white Christmases, and terrible snowdrifts. These events have become fewer and farther between during the second half of my life.
© volgariver / Dollar Photo Club
Last year was a record-breaking year for snowfall in much of the United States.
Not where I live.
We got maybe 3 snowstorms. That lasted maybe 2 days.
So I’ve been thinking, is it really worth it to get ready for winter when, most of the time, we are hitting many days of 60 degree weather in February?
Here’s the thing. Patterns in weather often change and not even the weather man can predict everything that could happen. So I guess I will do my best to prepare even though I have gotten used to these really mild winters where I live.
It seems to me no matter what happens in your area, you will want to be prepared and have a plan in case something crazy were to happen.
How to Prepare Financially for Winter
Since I’m not a specialist on emergency supplies you need in the winter, I don’t want to go that route and try to tell you what you need as basics to make it through a rough winter. However, I do know a little bit about personal finance, and I think it would be to your benefit to avoid major costs that come from not being prepared for winter. Here are the things that you should prepare now, while it’s still warm out, so that when the snow falls and the cold temperatures blast through, you won’t have to worry about them.
The first thing you should have is a well-stocked pantry. Even better would be to have a 3-day to one-year supply of food storage. That’s the ideal, but start with stocking your pantry and freezer. When a large snowstorm hits, the last thing you want to be doing is getting in your car to run to the store. The roads will be slicker and it will probably be more crowded at the store. It also might be near impossible to get there in the first place, so it’s better to just have your pantry full of food that you can eat.
Avoid Costly Heating Repairs
Get your heating system checked now. You don’t want to be in the dead of winter and have something fail. Not only will it cost you an arm and a leg to fix, but your house will be extremely cold while you’re waiting for the fix. If it is down for long enough, you might have to resort to a different method of heating your food and cooking as well.
Save money on gas and electricity by adding insulation wherever it is needed in your home. You’ll likely find the best prices for insulation in spring and summer, but, if you need it now, don’t wait any longer.
Get Your Car in Top Condition
You should take your car in to be checked before the first snowfall. Get an oil change while you’re at it, and definitely make sure your heater is working well. You might even want to keep some gas in a can in your car. You never know when you’ll need it. Other things to check would be the battery, brakes, the anti freeze, and the defroster.
Buy a Small Heater
We like to keep our thermostat set at about 67F or 68F in the winter. This does mean we are typically colder, but it saves us some money on our gas and electric bills. What we could do is buy a small heater to use in rooms that are usually colder, like our daughter’s room, so that we don’t have to worry about them getting really cold and their room can stay warmer throughout the night.
Plan Ahead for Heavy Snowfall
Make sure you have shovels, rock salt, and possibly a snow plow if you think your snowfall could be heavy. Once the snow hits, those shovels are going to cost double (or at least more expensive than you can buy them now). If you buy these things before the first snow, you will be able to shovel your car out if needed.
Decide now what will happen on days when you can’t get your kids to their daycare or babysitter. Will either you or your spouse stay home and forego a day of wages? This could also be a concern when people get sick.
Don’t let winter take a toll on your budget, or worse, wipe out your finances. It is better to spend a little money now and prepare for something that could happen than to wait until something awful does happen and pay double or triple what you would have liked.
How do you prepare financially for winter?