Tips for Saving Money and Energy This Holiday November 24, 2020 The holidays are around the corner and this time can be exciting as well as stressful. Getting into the holiday spirit is easy but following a holiday budget can be a little more difficult. To help keep you on track, here are some tips for saving money and energy that could help add some extra bucks into your pocket this holiday season. 1. Try Something New Most people are looking for ways to save money during the holidays, so don’t be afraid to offer a new idea. You could propose a white elephant gift exchange so everybody is only in charge of bringing one gift. You could mix up the tradition or even get rid of gift-giving altogether. At the end of the day, this end of year period is about spending time with loved ones and showing them how important they are to you. 2. Make a Plan for Saving Money It is too easy to walk into a store or get on a website with no plan in mind. This could cause impulse buying, which could lead to purchasing something that may not necessarily be needed. To prevent this, make a plan and/or a list for what you need to buy and then stick to the plan. Knowing what you’re looking for means you can search online for that product to find the best deal. 3. DIY Your Heart Out Gifts don’t have to be about giving the highest dollar amount. Gifts can be thoughtful and intentional, which can make for a pretty memorable gift. Fresh out of ideas? Pinterest is a great resource for fun and easy DIY holiday projects and gifts for the whole family, no matter your skill level. 4. Don’t Forget to Check the Windows Windows can be a big culprit for energy loss and drafts in the home. Check your windows by holding your hand in front of the window and seeing if you feel a breeze. For quick fixes, add plastic sheeting or window treatments with heavy lining to cover the space. Ultimately, you’ll want to caulk any gaps in the frame or hire a professional to do an inspection, which may result in the need for new energy-efficient windows. Investing in windows can lead to a reduction in heating bills and electricity costs. 5. Ho, Ho, Oh No Santa isn’t coming down the chimney until later in the year, so don’t forget to close the fireplace flue when not in use to keep your home warm and safe. If you do use the fireplace, remember to adjust the thermostat temperature accordingly. Lowering the thermostat a few degrees once a fire is started could help lower overall energy use. 6. The Thermostat Trick During winter months, it is common to have the heater working on over-time because of the freezing temperature outdoors. However, this is sure to drive up any energy bill. Consider keeping the heater off or at least a few degrees cooler when nobody is home during the workday, or when you’re cozied up in bed at night, so that you can begin saving money. Enjoy your holidays with a little extra cash in your pocket, thanks to these tips! And as the year comes to a close, remember if any changes have been made, to contact your OKFB agent to ensure your home insurance policy is up-to-date and everything is covered.