How Weather Can Affect your Spending Habits and Budget

by Hank Coleman

Most people do not factor the weather into their budget. However, your geographic location can indeed affect your spending habits and your budget. There are many reasons that you may have to factor in the wind, temperature, rain, and snow into your budget which can indeed impact the upkeep and maintenance costs for your home and car.

Car Maintenance. For example, if you live in a state that has extreme colds in the winter months, you will definitely have to spend more in the way of car maintenance and upkeep. I had never even heard of an engine block heater, let alone seen one, until I moved to Fargo, ND where the -30 degree winters make it a necessity. The same can hold true if you live in a hot climate. Temperature extremes, either way, can put extra stress on the wear and tear of your vehicle and your budget. In addition, those same temperature extremes can affect the roads we drive on which impacts the amount of money we spend annually on tire upkeep and alignment, shocks, and struts.

Home Insurance Costs. It holds true for your dwelling as well. The temperature and climate can play big roles in what you pay on your heating and cooling costs as well as how much you pay ultimately on your homeowner’s insurance or flood insurance. Do you live in the tornado belt? Or, do you live in the flood plain? If you do, you may have to cover your home with extra insurance for storm damage. If you live in a hot climate, naturally you will pay more for cooling your home, just as you will have to put out more money to heat your home in a colder region.

Consider Your Location and Climate. How about the physical location of your home? Think about how your house’s location can increase or decrease the amount you pay for utilities. For instance, if your home has a northern exposure, you will probably assume a greater expense for heating it than if it is situated facing south. On the other hand, a southern exposure might put a burden on you with respect to how much you pay in order to cool your home.

Type Of Home. Also, the type of structure you live in has a bearing on what you will pay for insurance coverage and upkeep too. Living in a brick structure pans out better with respect to cost than living in a vinyl sided wood frame home, especially if you live somewhere that has more than a normal amount of wind storms. So, you may have to factor in the wind, temperature, and amount of precipitation into your budget too as the weather can indeed impact the upkeep and maintenance costs for your home and car.

The Cost of Maintaining a Yard. Weather factors into the amount you pay for the landscaping and maintenance for your yard too. You will definitely have to put out some money for the necessary snow removal accessories if you live in a part of the country like Buffalo, New York that regularly gets pounded with a good deal of snow. Of course, if you live in a hot region, like Phoenix, you may have to pay more on your water bill if you want to keep your front lawn nice and green. I found out that I have a lot of lawn mowing costs where I live thanks to lots of rain and fast grass growth.

Weather Blues And How Much We Spend. Weather also can affect your mood, which can also influence how much you spend your money. For example, if you live in an area that has a good share of cloudy overcast days, you may shop more than someone who lives in a sunny area of the country. Shopping indoors when the weather is gloomy may to give yourself a lift, but it will definitely be a downer for your wallet. Of course, if you live somewhere that is known to have a good amount of nasty weather, you may tend to shop online more than someone who lives in an area where the weather is more “ho-hum.” Unless you are a shopaholic, it is also likely you will spend less time shopping if you live in a climate that has a good amount of mild, idyllic days.

We never think much about it when we make small talk and discuss the weather. Nevertheless, whether we realize it or not, our daily weather can have a fairly significant impact on how much we spend our money and how we lead our lives. There maybe not much that we can do about Mother Nature, but being cognizant of it is half the battle, and you can make better spending and budgeting decisions with your newfound knowledge.

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