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Daylight Savings: Saving You Money and Time

With the days growing longer and warmer and the clock set forward an hour, many people are adjusting to the time change and getting ready for summer. However, what most people don't realize is that Daylight Savings Time can actually help bolster their financial and credit health and save them money as well. Here are ten ways Daylight Savings Time can help a money-savvy person save money and use time more efficiently!
1. New Vistas In Dating
During the winter, many people find it difficult to arrange a date that doesn't include the old standbys of restaurants or bars. Many locales are too intemperate to permit for outdoor dates unless both parties really enjoy cold-weather activities like sledding and skiing. With Daylight Savings Time and warmer weather comes opportunities for activities like cooking out on the back porch, watching the sunset over a picnic dinner or strolling around town making new discoveries. 
Cooking at home can save a substantial amount of money over dining out, even if one factors in wine or cocktail makings, and may be good for more than one meal if planned correctly. Considering the average first date costs roughly $80, but a good meal at home averages $30-40 including beverages, this represents a 50% savings and can be even more enjoyable than a black-tie restaurant.
2. Using Less Power
Even a natural gas-fired heater requires electricity to use, and often represents one of the most significant electrical expenditures in the home. As the days grow warmer, turning the thermostat down and leaving the blinds and curtains open allows the sun to warm a home using convection and radiant heat. This in turn reduces the power and natural gas usage demands, which means lower utility bills and more money to use on things like paying down credit card balances.
3. Less Time Indoors
Most modern entertainment options require some kind of power input to function properly, unless one is reading an old-fashioned paperback book. By getting out and walking around town, going hiking, swimming or engaging in other outdoor recreation, one can significantly reduce the power drain and the associated bills needed to run things such as an XBox, Playstation or even watching Netflix.
4. Blow Off The Gym 
One of the most popular New Year's resolutions is simply to get in shape. Because of this, the two months after the New Year are a very busy time for gyms of all kinds, so much so that many gyms offer special discounted introductory rates to draw in clientele. However, many athletic clubs allow members to freeze their memberships, maintaining their presence on the rolls and helping their credit while slashing the amount of money they pay each month for membership dues. Taking advantage of the warmer weather to exercise outside the confines of a gym not only offers a more varied workout, but reduces financial outlays.
5. More Walking = Less Gas
During the winter, few people choose to walk everywhere they go when they can drive where they need to be in a warm vehicle, sheltered from the elements. As the days get longer thanks to Daylight Savings and winter releases its hold, biking or walking to the places one needs to go is a good way to help get in shape as well as using the natural light to produce vitamin D, a natural mood enhancer. Even better, walking or biking saves wear and tear on the vehicle and helps reduce fuel costs significantly.
6. Why Not Get A Side Job?
Odd jobs and side gigs are a good way to spend some time outdoors and help bank extra money for contingencies, emergencies, savings or to help pad monthly credit card payments. In addition, side jobs can help someone else out who lacks the time or physical capacity to do things that need to be done and allow one to meet new people and possibly make new friends, making it good karma as well as good credit.
7. Less Time Shopping
It is easy to walk into a mall for an Orange Julius and some window shopping, only to walk out with a Sherpa, sixteen bags from different stores and a credit card so hot its digits scorch themselves into one's wallet. Instead of hitting the mall, why not explore the outdoors in the area, such as state or national parks, little-known local hangouts or finding out where that creek that runs downtown goes? This is a good way to learn more about one's home ground and avoid the shopping and credit card hangover that a day at the mall can incur, and help save money for paying off existing credit card balances.
8. Hold A Yard Sale
Late October through mid-March are generally not considered prime time for yard sales in most locales. However, with spring cleaning comes the need to eliminate old clothes, books and other items that are no longer used or needed. Gathering up these items and selling them, even at a steep loss, can help put away money for family vacations, emergency funds or reducing credit balances, if not all of them. In addition, it helps reduce clutter and makes one's home feel cleaner and more ready for summer.
9. Start A Garden
While growing vegetables or flowers is not everyone's idea of a great hobby, everyone has to eat. Instead of buying fruits and vegetables from the local grocery store which have been brought who knows how far and treated with who knows what chemicals, creating one's own garden allows one to grow fresh, healthy food with no questions about where it came from or what went into it. Not only will this help slash grocery bills and alleviate another strain on the household budget, but garden-fresh vegetables and fruits simply taste better on the family table.
10. Take Up A Hobby
With Daylight Savings Time comes longer periods of daylight and more opportunities to indulge in hobbies which may be impractical for the novice during the winter, such as photography, painting or sketching. All of these are reasonably inexpensive and allow for creative and artistic expression while saving money on other indulgences and leaving a tangible artifact at the end of the process.
By using these tips, it is far easier to save or even earn money using Daylight Savings Time and the warmer weather it heralds as a springboard. Even better, the increase in available household income and the reduction in expenditures is a good way to start getting a handle on one's credit card debt and building stronger credit, whether the payments are under control or not.
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Alice Bryant's picture

Alice Bryant is the Editor of Creditnet and a personal finance expert with over a decade of experience writing about credit cards, credit scores, debt repair, and more.

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