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winter proof your home

As our wise state founders once said, you can never be too prepared for the winters of Wisconsin. Nah, we don’t think they actually said that, but it’s very true. To help keep the heat (and your wallet) going, we’ve compiled some ways to winter-proof your home on a budget both outside and in. Keep reading and stay warm!

Cover up and empty out. Seems pretty obvious, but we’re actually talking about your patio furniture! Pick up a few plastic tarps at your nearest retailer and cover those chairs. Tarps typically won’t cost more than $10 apiece and have a wide range of use. Any firewood? Toss the tarp over any wood you keep outside to avoid it getting too damp to burn. While you’re outside, drain any leftover water in hoses lying around the lawn or house. This will prevent the winter elements from creating any cracks or lining damage, which will “snowball” into holes. Yep, pun intended. Extra points if you roll the hose up for storage!

Bring it in. One last stop on your way inside! Look for any potted plants you bought this year to spruce up the yard. They won’t like the snow and wind that’s coming. Do a solid rinse of each and bring in your favorite ones nightly, so they don’t have to brave the cold. Any bigger plants or trees that you can’t do without? A neat trick is to tie their branches together with Christmas lights. This ensures their branches don’t crack or fall off and scratches Christmas decorations off your to-do list. Way to go, Wonder Woman!

Storm the norm. Storm windows -- they’re important. And often expensive. To work around their costly installation, measure your windows and purchase the correct amount of polyurethane plastic at your nearest retailer. Line each window with the plastic, cutting a piece big enough to secure along the frame. Pro tip: use a hair dryer on the back of the plastic from a few inches away. This helps the plastic shrink tight like glass, creating a tighter seal and a warmer home! This also rids the plastic of any wrinkling and crackling from wind.

Trailblazer. Technology can be a wonderful thing. There are now very affordable add-ons to home heating systems that enable you to control the temperature of your home while you’re out for an afternoon or cruising at work. Instead of blasting the heat while no one is home (boosting your heat bill), you can set it to a reasonable 65-70 degrees, which will keep your house temp up and your heating bill down. A quick Google search should find you very affordable options, ranging from $20-$40. Quite worth it considering how big those winter heating bills can be each month!

There you go, savvy savers! Use these tips to heat up your winter and cool down your costs. Be sure to keep coming back to the Money Smarts tips this fall to keep Owning your year!