Back to school season can be expensive between purchasing new school supplies, clothing, books, and paying tuition if your child is in private school or university. All those costs may get many families thinking about how they can start saving money in other areas of their lives so that they can afford it all comfortably. A good money management and budgeting plan can help you stay financially on track. While everyone’s spending habits and needs are different, there are certain places to save money in the fall that are relevant to many people.

1. Energy Bill: Enjoy the Weather and Prepare for Winter

You can conserve energy by turning off your air conditioning and opening your windows. The air temperature cools down this time of year enough to give you a refreshing cross-breeze in your home without yet being too cold. You can also walk around your home and take note of any windows or other areas where a draft seems to be entering. Repairing those areas will cost money now, but will save you greater money down the line when your heat and air conditioning don’t have to work extra hard to compensate for the outside air entering your home and the inside air escaping out.

2. Grocery Bill: Take Advantage of Seasonal Produce

These days, you can often find any kind of produce you would like all year round in the large supermarket chains, but certain produce items might be pricey when they are out of season. Focusing on in-season produce allows you to shop at farmer’s markets as well as chain stores and will usually afford you the better prices than out of season specialty items. The fall season has an array of delicious and colorful seasonal produce, so it’s a great way to celebrate the season as well as save money on your grocery bill.

3. Home Repairs Bill: Prevent Water and Roof Damage

As we enter the wetter part of the year, possibly even encountering some heavy snow, it’s important to make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris from the fall. Backups in your gutters can cause water damage to your home or to your roof. Fall is also a great time to have your pipes and your sump pump inspected to make sure there is no damage or no build-up that can lead to damaging water backups. Roof inspections are also important, because the last thing you want this winter is a major leak in your attic due to melting snow on your roof. A roof with loose shingles or other damage will let in drafts that will raise your energy bill, too.

4. Plan Ahead for the Holidays

The holidays may be a few months away, but it’s never too early to start shopping and taking advantage of good sales. If you are creative, you may find good deals during the end of summer/back to school sales on items or gifts you can use in December. The high-priced holiday items are for those who wait until the last second–don’t let that be you! When you save money in the fall months, you may also be able to give yourself a higher budget during the holiday season.

These are just a few ways you can save money this fall. By following money-saving strategies, you will be well on your way to a more financially healthy way of living. At DeSantis, Kiefer, Shall, & Sarcone, our financial planning experts can help you come up with different strategies to help you save and budget your money so that you can spend wisely throughout the year.