Did you remember that this Sunday, March 13 is the time to “spring forward” and move your clocks up one hour in observance of Daylight Savings Time? In addition to changing the batteries in your smoke detectors in your home, take some time to do these tweaks to your finances and save a little money while you gain some daylight.
Host Your Own Warm Weather Get-Togethers
With extra daylight in the evenings, the temptation is strong to visit your favorite restaurants with outside dining options or to linger at your favorite watering hole at their outside seating area. Instead, invite your friends over for a get-together at your home. Set up your patio, mix some drinks, grab some great eats (or encourage your friends to pitch in) and enjoy the time together without the mark-up in prices you would experience by eating out.
Automate Your Heating and Cooling Systems
Studies have shown that the time change has little effect on energy spending, so take this opportunity to automate your home heating and cooling system with a programmable thermostat. You can purchase a relatively inexpensive replacement thermostat at any home improvement store that will allow you to set the temperature of your home to a higher or lower temperature depending on the time of day and the season. The Department of Energy estimates an annual savings of up to 10 percent when you adjust your thermostat by 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for an 8-hour period. In addition, some utility companies offer rebates of up to $50 in some cases. Visit your utility provider's website for rebate information before you buy.
Increase Electricity Efficiency
Since electricity is central to most discussions about Daylight Saving Time, consider increasing your home's efficiency to reduce your energy costs. Switching from incandescent light bulbs to LEDs, for example, will have your lamps and light fixtures pulling a fraction of the energy without compromising light quality. LED lights can save you anywhere from $150 to $180 in energy costs over their lifetimes, according to Consumer Reports. Like programmable thermostats, many utility companies offer residential rebates for Energy Star-certified LED light bulbs to further reduce prices and payback periods. These rebates are often applied by retailers, meaning you can enjoy the savings at checkout.
Swap the Shopping Urge for Exercise
Extra daylight in the evening may increase your urge to shake off a stressful day at the office with a shopping trip. Resist the temptation by instead setting up a walking date or gym meet-up with a friend and sweat out your tensions. Not only will this save you money, it will also make you healthier and happier in the long run.
Extend this to the entire family by turning off the TV and electronic devices after dinner and instead take your kids outside for a walk around the neighborhood or playtime at a nearby park. What better way to enjoy that extra daylight than by spending it with your loved ones?
Don’t forget to put those savings in an Allegius Savings Account! See all the options available to our members at https://www.allegius.org/save/personal-savings.