Each season has its own ups and downs. During the spring season, some people get allergy attacks due to the pollen so they can hardly wait for the summer months. The upside of the summer season is that you get to be with friends and family and go on one summer trip after another. The downside is that if you did not prepare in advance, it will take its toll on your budget.
For the winter season, there’s the holidays to look forward to but the not-so-good thing is the expense associated with the celebrations. What about the fall season? As compared to summer, exactly what is it that makes autumn more expensive? Find out here.
Top 10 Reasons Why You’d Spend More during the Fall Season
Fall signals the changing of the season from hot to cold. It’s that in-between season when the colors of the leaves become golden, the air gets crisper and your surroundings seem to be more and more vibrant. Some people might like autumn more than summer while other bask in the heat of the sun during the summer months.
No matter which group you fall under, it does pay to understand why you might just have to spend more money during autumn as compared to the summer season. Here are the top ten reasons why:
1. You might have to pay more on gas.
In the oil industry in the US, there is actually such a thing as a summer-blend and winter-blend gasoline. During the spring season, it seems as if gas prices suddenly skyrocket. The money that you’d usually spend to fill up the tank would double or even triple come spring and summer.
Why is this so? There are actually many explanations from supposed industry experts, especially the owners of gasoline stations themselves. They would typically say that the refineries are making the transition from winter-blend to summer-blend gasoline, thus there is a downtime and a corresponding increase in prices.
But what does it really mean if the gas you’re filling the tank with is bought during the summer or the winter season? Winter-blend gas has a higher Reid Vapor Pressure, which determines how easily fluid evaporates at a certain temperature. With a higher RVP, the gas would evaporate more quickly – which means more loss for the gas company.
During the fall and winter season, gas would have a higher RVP because the fluid evaporates at low temperatures. This is especially true when you’re trying to start the car with a cold engine. The seasonal transition which creates that shift for fuel prices occur twice every year in the US.
There is usually an increase in price of gases during the summer season, but not as much as during spring. Summer-blend gasoline contains more expensive ingredients and is available during a period when refiners briefly shut down before processing the fuel.
Summer-grade fuel actually burns cleaner, lessens the smog produced along with the toxic pollutants in the air. Winter-grade fuel is not necessarily as clean as summer-grade fuel. After the summer season, the winter-blend fuel comes back. You might have to pay a bit less as compared to summer-blend gasoline, but the impact on the environment of winter-blend gasoline does end up costing more for people in general in the long run.
2. You’ll consume more electricity.
More and more homeowners are making the shift from traditional electricity source to alternative forms of energy. Despite this fact, utility companies all across the US are already in the process of increasing their electricity rates, or have already increased their rates. In Southern California, for example, a utility company called Edison increased their residential electricity rates with an average of 8% from before. Other utility companies in states like Idaho, Alaska, and Pennsylvania are already petitioning for an increase in their residential rates.
During the fall season, the temperatures also start dropping so you will naturally consume more electricity or fuel for heating. This means that when it comes to your utility bills, you might just have to pay more during the fall as compared to the summer season.
3. You would have to pay more when buying a home.
According to CBSNews.com, those who are planning to buy a home might just have to pay more when closing the deal for a new house this fall, as compared to any other season of the year. As compared to May of 2014, the prices of homes in twenty major cities increased by more than 9%.
This is actually a lower rate as compared to the increase in rates last April, but experts predict that the prices for properties acquired by homebuyers would continue to increase. If you are planning to buy a home, you might want to hold off on the purchase this fall – or at least wait until the next season and wait where the economy tilts next.
4. You would have to pay more for fancy coffee.
Whether you’re buying your fancy coffee from chains like Starbucks or brewing your own beans at home, the price of getting your caffeine fix might just be more during the fall than the summer season. There is a drought in Brazil, the main source of Arabica beans relied on to by the big coffee companies.
According to reports from Bloomberg, Starbucks-branded drinks will increase in price, along with the beans sold in grocery stores – with a predicted increase of 8% from its usual price. The higher bean costs might also force other stores serving coffee to increase their selling rates.
5. The rates of flights offered by airline carriers are higher during the fall season.
According to the Associated Press, the average round trip ticket price has increased to more than $500 for the fall season. Aside from the price of the fare itself, flyers would have to pay for typical airline features like changing tickets, getting window seats, or checking in baggage.
The fees charged by the Transportation Security Administration or TSA are also increasing, along with what you have to pay for a connecting flight. If you have already done all your air travelling during the summer, you might want to hold off on flying for the fall season.
6. Sandwiches are more expensive.
Big sandwich companies like Kraft said that they are raising prices on almost half of their products. This is brought about by the increase in prices of meat, milk, and other ingredients used in sandwiches. The only exception is peanut butter and jelly spread products, as well as the price of bread itself. If you are into the fancier sandwich recipes, you might want to hold off on buying the commercial kind or the fancy ones from the deli, and simply make your own at home.
7. Bacon and other meat products are pricier.
Bad news for all the bacon lovers out there (basically everyone!) – the average price of bacon rose by up to 14% from last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For one pound of bacon, you would have to pay more than six dollars.
The cost behind this increase is a virus that downed 13% of the hog herd in the country. Drought made things worse so if you are having bacon for breakfast, you might as well savor every single bite.
8. Poultry is also more expensive.
Consumer watchers said that despite chicken being a reliably low-priced meat option for shoppers, poultry in general might just have its own hike in prices. Reports from Reuter indicated that a genetic issue on a breed of roosters affected the fertility problem of breeder birds.
This means that chicken farmers would have more problems to deal with, and the price of those chicken parts that you can buy pre-cut from the grocery store just might be more expensive during the fall season.
9. You would have to spend more on kids’ clothes.
If you have kids who are about to go back to school, the one thing that you should remember is that the price of clothes like denim products tend to increase along with the demand. If you do not want to pay any more than what you actually have to when shopping for kids’ school clothes, wait until the end of September to purchase denim products.
10. Halloween candy bars are getting more and more expensive.
Chocolate-based Halloween candy bars might not be as cheap as you remembered. The largest candy maker in the US, Hershey’s, has already increased the price of their chocolate products last July. Another 7% average price hike is in the offing. With the combined increase of chocolate and milk products, you just might have to watch out for the number of candy bars that you will give to those trick-or-treaters this coming Halloween.
Fall is a beautifully-hued season nonetheless, despite these price increases. If you will plan your budget in such a way that you can make adjustments for the rate hike, you would not have to give up on indulgences totally – simply lessen them so that you can still enjoy without having to pay too much.