Every Midwesterner knows one thing as the summer draws to a close. After fall, winter is just around the corner, and with it, Old Man Winter is set to deliver icy-cold temperatures and heaps of snow.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Indiana, in particular, is on course for plenty of snowfall and record-breaking temperatures that will leave Hoosiers shivering.
Inclement weather isn’t the only thing Old Man Winter will bring. you can expect wintertime bills to arrive in your mailbox. And with runaway inflation still climbing upwards, these bills will be higher than ever before.
Here’s what you can do to prepare your finances.
Build a Wintertime Emergency Fund
Forget about a rainy-day fund, you need a snowy day fund in the Midwest. This stash of cash can help you fill in the cracks of your budget when unexpected bills disrupt your usual routine.
Generally speaking, you should aim to save as much as six months of living expenses in this fund. But no matter what you save, knowing you have some money squirreled away is priceless. You can tap into this fund to cover a burst pipe or an urgent x-ray when you slip on some ice.
Think About Having a Safety Net
Snowy day funds are meant to be used, so there might come a time when you drain your savings. Unfortunately, Old Man Winter doesn’t always wait until you rebuild this fund before he sends another unexpected wintertime expense your way.
Most people would use a credit card or line of credit as a safety net in these emergencies. You can find a personal line of credit in Indiana online anywhere you get Internet, including over the phone. With a few taps of your screen, you can compare rates and conditions to see how these online loans work.
Don’t skip this step, even in an emergency. The average online Indiana line of credit comes with simple and quick applications, so you can save time here and invest it in shopping around. This way, you can find the best personal line of credit Indiana has to offer for your financial situation.
Research Energy Assistance
Savings and an online line of credit are like sprinters — they’re best used in short bursts. But when it comes to long, sustained expenses (like monthly electric and water bills), they run out of steam fast.
If you need help with ongoing bills, see if your household qualifies for the following programs:
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
- Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
- Community Action Agencies (CAA)
Checkoff These Winterization Chores
Between inflation and gas prices, utilities are going to be very expensive. Follow these tips from the Indiana government to reduce your energy use and better manage your heating bills:
- Set your thermostat lower when you’re out of the house or in bed
- Reach for a blanket or sweater before raising the temp
- Get your HVAC system tuned up
- Change your furnace filter regularly
- Get insulated drapes to keep warm air in at night
- Repair weatherstripping and install plastic on your windows
- Run your ceiling fans clockwise to circulate warm air.
Winter is Coming: Be Prepared
With another expensive season on its way, prepare your budget early. These tips will help you greet Old Man Winter with confidence.