If you’d like to grow your landscape and your finances this season, then Putnam Bank has the perfect tips for you! To jumpstart this warmer weather, we’re excited to share our top tips and tricks to maintaining a healthy lawn and garden without digging too deep into your budget:
Seed your lawn early on. Get the growing season started right, and give your landscape some food to help it grow. By not only seeding your grass, but adding fertilizer as well, you can help ensure that your roots grow strong and healthy to fight off intermittent weather changes and pesky pets.
Automate your watering routine. Keep your landscape looking green by maintaining a daily watering routine without all the fuss of hoses and watering cans. By setting up an automated system, you can make certain you’re not wasting water, while saving additional funds from no longer needing to replace malnourished plants.
Utilize alternative landscaping options. Reduce your overall recurring costs by taking advantage of helpful products such as landscape fabric, river rock, and various xeriscaping plants. By using these tools to grow foliage other than grass you can cut down on your time and expenses associated with mowing and upkeep.
Other Outdoor Savings Tips: While the above tips can aid you in keeping a green and healthy landscape, saving money isn’t about maintenance only. To help continue your savings in other areas of lawn care, we wanted to share some further tricks on how to reduce other outdoor expenditures associated with your growing landscape.
- Choose colorful perennials over less-timely annuals when planting flowers. While annuals can have prominent blooms that catch your eye, these flora varieties will need to be re-planted every year. Avoid paying for new seedlings each spring by utilizing returning perennial plants instead. These recurring blooms will hibernate underground each winter, and emerge where they were originally planted year after year.
- Plant prosperous fruit trees for added shade and earnings through plant production. By providing an escape from heated sunlight, shade producing trees can help decrease the cost of your home’s monthly cooling bill. If you choose a tree that also produces fruit you can typically accumulate $200 or more worth of produce that you have the potential to sell as well.
Make the most of this planting season, and create a garden that will give you both joy and savings. We can’t wait to see what you and your family create!
Spring break is a magical time of the year when school is out, the beaches are calling, and wanderlust seems to finally hit at full force. Before you jet-set to your next destination, make sure you’ve saved enough to enjoy this vacation without the addition of debt. To help cut the costs, but not the fun, Putnam Bank offers these proven money saving tips:
- Split Costs – Make the most of your money, and divide the cost of a room among you and your fellow friends. Paying $150 a night may be a high price tag, but by splitting the cost, you can stay twice as long!
- Drive Instead of Fly – If your traveling troop decides to book a trip abroad, then this tip may not apply, but for eager spring breakers traveling south, driving instead of flying could save you hundreds!
- Try Alternate Accommodations – Who says a hotel is the only appropriate place to stay. With innovative new offerings on VRBO and AirBnb, you can find deals that not only save you money but offer a unique setting as well.
- Get Groceries – One of the most expensive parts of a vacation is the food. Cut down on this cost by hitting up the local grocery store when you arrive. You can grab breakfast items, and other easy foods to prepare to avoid exorbitant dining fees.
- Maximize Free Activities – Things like going to the beach or relaxing by the pool can be both enjoyable and cost effective. Since there are typically no entry fees you can enjoy this fun-filled relaxation again and again.
- Bring Your Own- Everything is more expensive on the beach. Food, drink, shade, you name it! Instead of purchasing everything ala carte pack a reliable beach kit with everything you need for the day. Don’t forget sunscreen!
- Utilize Your Rewards – What’s the point of having travel rewards if you never use them? By putting those points to work you can cover the cost of your flight and/or room, and reserve your money for food and fun.
The cool months are approaching, and so is the increase in your home’s energy usage. Before the days start to get chilly, put these key steps in motion to save some serious pocket change on your next utility bill.
- Swap out your 40 watt bulbs for a more efficient LED bulb. While the lights themselves may be more costly, they will save you money in the long run. Begin with one room in the house and every couple months splurge for another room’s new light bulbs. Slowly, your home’s lighting will become more energy efficient, dropping your electricity usage.
- While the temperature’s still relatively warm, turn off your air conditioning, and let the house breathe. Open up windows both upstairs and downstairs to cool the house, and bring in some fresh air. Even if it’s for only a few hours a day, this simple technique can decrease your energy usage a little at a time.
- Trade in those mesh curtains for an energy efficient alternative. Darkening shades can help to keep your house warm by trapping heat inside. As an added bonus, they also shield the sun, so sleeping in on the weekends has never been easier.
- If you have a family of four, doing laundry can add up quick! Decrease your energy usage by switching to a cold wash detergent and only using hot water when deep cleaning whites. For additional savings, hang items to dry outside while it’s still warm, eliminating the energy needed for the dryer.
- Fill your freezer. By keeping a full freezer, you make the appliance work less, once all the food is frozen. Each of the items inside of the freezer will help keep the space frozen, meaning less energy is needed to keep everything cold.
- Pile on the layers this season. Once the cold comes, instead of running to the thermostat, make your way to the closet. Adding sweatshirts, jackets, and cardigans to your wardrobe can help you stay toasty on those chilly nights, without spiking your energy bill. If the evening is particularly cold, enjoy the night in front of a warm kindling in the fireplace, and remember to add a couple blankets to your bed!
Whatever tactics you choose to save, Putnam Bank is here to help! Contact one of our experienced personal bankers today!
With pockets full of dollar bills and a list of dream-finds in hand, serious garage sale goers are perking up for the upcoming season. Become a pro deal-spotter by harnessing some of their top tricks of the trade!
- Check for warranties: Even if they’re dinged or damaged, goods by brands like Craftsman and Chaco may offer lifetime warranties if you send them in for repair. Avoid: Electronic-based gadgets – everything from blenders to tablets – as they’re likely past warranty and cost more to repair than buy new.
- Snap up fun novelty items: Infrequently used finds like wedding accessories, costume sets, and kitchen appliances can be pricey when purchased brand new. You can buy these gently-used finds for a fraction of the original cost! Avoid: Holiday-themed wares that you’ll use once, store for the year, and toss out at your own yard sale.
- Think a few seasons ahead: A summer yard sale will be loaded with wintertime treasures. Scope out pricier outerwear like parkas and boots, while keeping your eye out for cross-country skis, durable metal shovels, and other seasonal goods marked at a steep discount. Avoid: Cold weather apparel worn close to the skin, such as hats and long underwear. Also, be wary of major items like snow blowers and snowmobiles, which may require costly repairs that outweigh the price of a newer model.
- Shop for the kids: When they’re set to outgrow clothes every few months, garage sales are a treasure trove of inexpensive apparel for infants through teens. Be on the lookout for limited-use clothing like costumes and formalwear to save big during special occasions. Avoid: Cribs and car seats which are frequently recalled, soft toys that can’t be easily washed or sterilized, and truly vintage toys which may pose the risk of lead-based paint.
- See Beyond the Paint: Furniture can be a phenomenal find if you’re willing to put in some extra effort. A new finish or a fresh coat of paint can make all the difference on wood & metal furniture. Avoid: Mattresses and upholstered items which may have unknown stains or trapped in odors.
Magicians like Harry Houdini have been astounding audiences for years with their seemingly impossible feats of magic, misdirection and secrecy. Whether or not you believe that sawing someone in half and putting them back together is actually possible, we do know for a fact that nothing about your finances, especially saving money, is able to be cured by waving a wand or yelling “Abracadabra!”
Saving money isn’t all about accumulating as much wealth as you can by counting pennies and using coupons. It can help you achieve short and long-term goals. Saving can also help you ensure you are prepared for emergencies.
For our purposes today, let’s focus on what it takes to create an Emergency Fund so that you have enough money saved for “rainy day.”
Step 1- Open a Savings Account (If You Don’t have One Already): by opening a savings account you are separating this money from what you’ll use for purchases. Choose your savings account based on the following factors:
- Fees and limitations– most savings accounts of restrictions on minimum balances and withdrawals. Be sure you know what these are.
- Interest- this allows your money to work for you. A general rule is that the higher the interest rate, the higher the minimum balance you’ll have to keep in the account.
- Accessibility- can you withdraw or transfer your money at any time, or are there limitations?
- Benefits– can you access your money through ATMs, Online Banking or Mobile Banking?
Step 2- Set Your Savings Goal: an Emergency Fund should cover three to six months’ worth of expenses in the event you lose your job or become temporarily disabled. Once you have your overall goal, set smaller goals to better gauge your progress and to make the task of saving seem less daunting.
Step 3- SAVE! Transfer your set amount from your checking account to your savings account every time you get paid. Better yet, use Online Banking to set up a recurring transfer for this amount to occur every payday. This helps in two ways: 1) it ensures you are actually saving, and 2) it eliminates the chances of you deciding to use that money for something else.
Putnam Bank makes it easy for anyone to save their way by offering multiple savings accounts. This ensures you will find a savings account that closely matches your needs. If you have any questions or would like to open a savings account with us, simply come by any of Putnam Bank’s locations today.
Putnam Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender