Watch Out for These Hidden Winter Expenses

Can you even believe that it’s already fall?

I know this doesn’t come as a surprise to anybody but the older I get, the faster time passes, and as cliche as it is, I feel as if it was just February. 

I remember so clearly the anticipation of leaving my contract and my birthday and going on a extended trip to Europe. 

I remember launching my other site, Unsettle, back in January and it’s now almost the fourth quarter of the year. 

I’ll stop reminiscing to say that since fall has happened upon us rather unexpectedly, I think we should open up a conversation about winter. 


I can say without a doubt that we tend to spend more money in the winter months. This wasn’t something that I was always aware of but our spending goes way up in the cold months for a few different reasons.

Heat and Electricity

We live in a climate that experiences an honest-to-God winter so we spend substantially more on heat and lights (since it gets darker earlier) that our summer months. I also use my dryer and oven more since my outdoor clothesline and BBQ are not available for usage when it’s, you know, snowing. This is an expense we have always budgeted for year-round, so I don’t really notice this expense but not everyone does.

Eating Out

If I’m being honest we eat out a lot more in the winter. It’s Friday, and cold, and pitch black at 5pm, I want to be home in my pj’s watching hockey as soon as possible, pizza it is! Where, in the summer I have way more energy and look forward to hanging out on the deck while we cook some burgers on the grill and don’t care that we don’t sit down to eat our meal until 8pm. Eating out wins more times than not in winter.


We are generally a healthy family. We rarely get sick but this year our family was nailed with illness like I’ve never experienced. The mother of all cold viruses attacked us for almost three months and it was awful. I’m eternally grateful that we have universal healthcare in Canada so I talk very loosely about healthcare expenses around my American cohorts, but my husband and I spent an easy $100 on additional medication costs this year. Advil, cough medication, antibiotics, sinus medication, dehumidifiers, I don’t think I spent $100 in the five previous years on these types of expenses. I felt like I would get my paycheque and head right to the pharmacist with it. While we’re mostly illness free, for now, it’s been an expensive three months.


In the summer my footwear of choice is a $2 pair of flip flops. Obviously this won’t do in the winter. If you’ve ever experienced winter for any length of time you know you need good boots, the $20 ones from WalMart will not come close to cutting it. Despite living in this climate almost my entire life, it’s been a long time since I owned proper winter boots (the ones you can walk through wet, gross slushy snow after a storm and have dry warm feet and not care what they look like, aka not cute leather boots you spent a mint on). After an awful winter last year, I vowed to save my toes and protect them. I found great pair 40% off and still paid $79.99 for them. Since using them in the snow I’m very happy with my decision but hated dropping the $91.99 on them (yes living with 15% sales tax sucks too).

I really do enjoy living in a four-season climate but am looking forward to the warmer, less expensive months that’s for sure. Do you find you spend more money in the winter?

8 thoughts on “Watch Out for These Hidden Winter Expenses

  1. It’s fall already here and I can sense that our electricity bill would be higher and I have spent much money on clothes for this season. I just hope that I can manage to control these expenses and now I am looking for ways in saving electricity.

  2. Our heating costs are still lower than the summertime cooling here in Phoenix. But our gas bill does go up because my husband takes lots of hot showers. He has joint problems, so they feel cold and stiff easily. I’m hoping some cortisone shots this winter help that.

  3. I thought we could save much money during this season as the weather is cooler so that we don’t have to use air condition devices. I think I am gonna focus on health and eating out just to save more money for the big events coming.

  4. I admit that I am guilt of eating out because I am not a good cook and there’s no one I can count on when it comes to this. I think I gotta learn how to cook so that I can watch this kind of hidden expenses.

  5. Clothing is a problem to us because of the winter. Aside from we get out our winter clothes, we have to buy some. What we do is that we buy at thrift shop or the sale after the season ends then we just keep it. We know how costly these winter clothes are.

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