Winterize Your Finances
Now is the time to get ready for all the costs that come with owning a home in wintertime. Decide on a cold weather budget ahead of time, so that you can have adequate funds on hand for the unexpected.
- Save and keep a reserve of cash on hand. You never know when you may be without electricity, or the car could break down, or the roof might start to leak from the heavy snow load.
- Contact your insurance agent to make sure your homeowners insurance is up to date, and that you have enough coverage to take care of a leaky roof, a broken pipe, or a fallen tree branch. You may need a home repair policy on top of your homeowners coverage. Check that your deductible is set at a level you can afford if the worst happens.
- Prepare for winter illnesses and accidents with good health coverage. An independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network can help you find the right policy for your family, at a rate you can afford. Sometimes an independent agent can get you an even better deal than group coverage from your employer.
If you have pets in the home, there are even more preparations to be made before winter hits. Make sure to plan for their warmth and comfort, too.
- Prepare your home for more indoor dog time. If your pups usually stay outside, you may need to reorient them to indoor life. Give them time to adjust to crate sleeping and set clear boundaries for the rooms and furniture they can use.
- Give goats, chickens and other outdoor animals adequate shelter. Install heaters where necessary, and be sure coops and stalls are watertight and well insulated.
- Plan ahead to make sure all animals on your property have constant access to unfrozen water.
- Strengthen your fencing, and be extra vigilant against predators over the winter months. Small animals are much more likely to be poached by coyotes, wild dogs, bears and mountain lions when food is scarce. Try to keep cats inside as much as possible.
Get Cozy and Enjoy
You worked hard to get ready for the cold. So now...
- Start a fire in the fireplace.
- Put on some fuzzy socks.
- Snuggle up on the couch.
- Drink a hot cup of cocoa. You've got less to worry about than ever before.