Winter budget

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As winter arrives in the Utah Valley, many people worry about the additional costs involved with heating homes and purchasing gifts for loved ones this year. 

Interior designer, Lyndsey Gunnerson, describes how she winterizes her home to cut costs.

“Having textiles of any kind helps to bring in warmth, so whether that is rugs, blankets, pillows, drapery, any of that kind of stuff can help to capture heat,” said Gunnerson. “We have two windows in our living room that go up 16 feet, and we were trying to figure out how to do window coverings affordably, so we just got these super long drop clothes off Amazon that are these super thick canvas material. We are able to control light and heating.” 

Gunnerson recommended other tactics to winterize your home from decor items like rugs, curtains and wall hangings to replacing door and window seals, stopping air drafts with towels, applying plastic window insulators to trap heat, cleaning vents, reversing the direction of your ceiling fan, and letting daylight in. Homeowners can purchase many items at local home improvement stores and even dollar stores!

As Christmas arrives in addition to the winter temperatures, some professors at Brigham Young University offer advice for keeping costs low without cutting Christmas cheer.

“It doesn’t require money to give a gift that is meaningful,” said Jeff Hill, a professor of family finance in the School of Family Life. “That’s a gift from your heart to someone else. Spend money that you have. Especially in the holiday season. It is not a time to go into debt for giving presents.”

There are many resources available to students to help track and maintain their finances all year long. From the BYU financial fitness center, finance courses such as SFL 260 Family Finance and FIN 200 Personal Finance, and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Students can also check out personalfinance.byu.edu for additional assistance. 

“Tracking your finances, creating a budget and sticking to your budget go a really long way,” said associate professor of family finance, Jeff Dew. “It’s a wonderful holiday. It’s a wonderful time. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to overspend because a lot of the most meaningful things don’t cost a lot.”

With these tactics, everyone’s homes, hearts and wallets are sure to be merry this Christmas season.

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