Back in late February, we had a few days of awesome weather in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. I mean it was close to 80 degrees and yes this was in February.
Ofcourse it’s rare for such awesome weather during winter and as a result, many were outdoors taking advantage of the mild temperature.
I saw joggers, bicyclers, walkers and customers shopping and eating outside of restaurants.
Naturally, when the weather is nice people are out more. But what does that mean – being out? I’ve noticed more people outdoors exercising, parking lots at malls at shopping centers with more cars and restaurants with more patrons.
It’s one thing if we are outdoors, for the most part, enjoying nature, but when we go outdoors to go back indoors like malls and shops, then our finances play a role too.
And so this begs the question are our finances affected by the weather? I decided to find out.
We Spend More When It’s Warmer
Here’s an interesting chart from Statista. It shows the amount of U.S. dollars spent by month with the average temperature.
If we don’t count the holiday months (November at 98 and December at 105) and look at the remaining 10 months, the average spending per month is higher in the warmer seasons of spring and summer.
Average Per Season:
Fall – 92
Spring – 104
Summer – 104
Winter – 94
A really simple example is if it’s hot outside we’re more likely to make a plan to go out and get ice cream.
But if it’s super cold, we’re not going to the coffee shop for some hot chocolate. Instead, we’re making it at home like I do. 🙂
How Does Weather Play A Role?
When the weather is bad, we may not want or even be able to go out. So we may feel stuck or trapped.
And what do we do resort to then, TV or the internet right? For some, going online means shopping online, but for many, it’s not the case. Based on a study at Temple University’s Fox School of Business’s Xueming Luo, Chair Professor of Marketing, spending his higher on a sunny day rather than a rainy day. People are upbeat and this triggers purchasing decisions.
The study showed that sunshine days lead to a higher response in promotions (1.21 VS .9) as compared with cloudy days.
For me, nice weather means mild temperatures. This is usually spring and fall; my preferred seasons. Sometimes during the day, I’ll take a break from my desk and even walk around my office building a couple of times to get some fresh air.
Or during a lunch break, if I decide to take a day off from the gym, I’ll drive to a local park and walk around there. I feel like it’s a light workout of my body and my mind.
The Flip Side – Saving
There are many ways to save when the weather is good too. You can enjoy free outdoor activities like parks, museums, and sports.
For people who love the summertime, there are endless activities for you and your whole family that will still allow you to meet savings goals.
You may not want to stay home if you know that the weather is nice and everyone else is out taking advantage of it.
I know when I was studying for the CPA; I was extra motivated and productive during the winter and on cold, rainy days because I knew that there wasn’t much else for me to do at least outdoors. It also helped because I didn’t have a whole lot of money back anyway. 🙂
If you plan your activities to keep yourself and your family occupied, the weather may not matter as much. For example, if you plan to clean and declutter the garage on a Saturday afternoon and it’s sunny, don’t let the weather take over your plans. Stick to your plan and accomplish your goal for the day.
Eat Out, That Is Outside Of Your Home
You can continue to enjoy the weather outdoors and still eat at home. A friend of mine uses his gas grill a few times per week during the summer. He says I can grill anything: burgers, chicken, fish, many vegetables like squash, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and even fruit like pineapple and peaches for dessert. All you have to do is season the food however little or much you like and throw it on the grill.
Mines is a charcoal grill so it’s a little more work in terms of prep and clean up the grill itself afterward. We’ve had picnics right outside of our garage on the lawn when it’s nice out with delicious food and my son blowing bubbles, kicking the soccer ball around and of course his favorite – random rock collection.
We can’t control the weather. But we can control our reaction to it. We shouldn’t feel pressured into spending just because we see everyone else is doing so or feel that we may be missing out.
Remember that it’s free to be outside and enjoy the weather. There are alternative ways to enjoy the weather and still achieve our financial goals.
- Are you more tempted to go out and spend based on the weather?
- Do you feel pressure to go out when the weather is nice?
- Are you an outdoor person despite the cold or heat?
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