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Spring Forward: A Comprehensive Guide to Preparing for the New Season

Maple Sap Buckets Hanging from Trees In Spring

As we battle the last few storms of March and April, the thought of spring beckons us to shake off the cold and embrace the upcoming season with enthusiasm. It’s time to “think spring” and start planning for the warmer days ahead! Whether it’s bolstering your retirement nest egg, auditing your home for energy upgrades, planning outdoor cleanup and improvements, or assessing the health of your auto, preparing now can set you up for a successful spring. This guide provides a comprehensive roadmap to help you navigate your spring planning, ensuring you’re ready to seize the season as soon as the first buds appear. Let’s dive in and explore these spring planning ideas that promise to bring growth, efficiency, and enjoyment into your life.



Spring is a fantastic time to reassess your financial habits. It’s never too late to start saving for retirement, especially considering the power of compound interest. Starting early can yield significant benefits, but remember, even if you can only save a small amount, it can grow substantially over time due to compound interest.

If you have an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), it’s a good idea to contribute as much as you can afford each month. Many employers offer a match, meaning they will contribute a certain percentage of what you contribute, up to a certain amount. This is essentially “free money” that can help boost your retirement savings.

If your employer does offer a match, try to contribute at least enough to get the full match. For example, if your employer matches 50% of your contributions up to 6% of your salary, try to contribute at least 6% of your salary to take full advantage of this benefit.

If you don’t have access to an employer-sponsored plan, or if you want to save more than the contribution limits of these plans, you might consider an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). There are two main types of IRAs – Traditional and Roth, each with their own tax advantages.

A financial advisor can provide personalized advice based on your income, expenses, financial goals, and risk tolerance. They can help you decide how much to save, where to invest your savings, and how to balance retirement savings with other financial goals.

Remember, the most important thing is to start saving for retirement as soon as you can, even if you can only afford to save a small amount. Over time, these contributions can grow significantly and provide you with a secure financial future.


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After a mild winter, it’s easy to forget about home energy efficiency upgrades. An energy audit is a good starting place and will help you determine how efficient your home is. Winter (meaning, right now) is a good time to have the audit done, since the contrast between temperatures inside and outside your house make it easier to find air leakage. If you have a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor conduct the audit, you will also receive a prioritized list of energy-saving projects and information about incentives you can use to reduce the costs of the work. Once spring arrives, you can begin working on your list of projects. If you haven’t had the audit, you can still do some basic air sealing and insulation and maybe even upgrade the old heating system.



After a long winter indoors, you’re going to want to get outside and enjoy the warmth of spring when it gets here. If you haven’t already started planning your garden beds and outdoor projects, this is a good time to start gathering the things you need so that you can get to work when the warm season arrives. As you consider spring projects, think about potential vegetable and flower gardens, landscaping improvements, walkway or driveway repairs, and external home repairs.



The change of seasons is a good time to assess the health of your vehicle. Vermont cars take it rough! With salt- and stone-covered roads and extreme shifts in temperature, we’re lucky if we can pay off the auto loan before the bottom is rusting out. Hopefully, you’ve been making regular trips to the car wash to reduce salt damage, but either way, this is a good time of year to assess the health of your vehicle This can involve checking for any signs of rust or damage, assessing tire tread depth, checking fluid levels, and ensuring the heating and cooling systems are working properly. Regular assessments and proactive maintenance can help extend the life of your vehicle, even in challenging conditions like those in Vermont.

Remember, each car may react differently to these conditions based on factors like its make, model, age, and maintenance history. It’s always a good idea to consult with a trusted mechanic or automotive professional for advice tailored to your specific vehicle.


As we bid farewell to winter and welcome the rejuvenating season of spring, it’s essential to plan and prepare for the changes ahead. From financial readiness to home improvements, vehicle maintenance, and outdoor projects, every aspect contributes to a seamless transition. By taking these proactive steps, you’re not just preparing for a season; you’re investing in your future. So, let’s embrace the promise of spring, the potential for growth, and the joy of new beginnings. Remember, the seeds of preparation sown in the spring can reap bountiful rewards in the seasons to come.


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Andrew Gansberg

About Andrew Gansenberg

About Andrew Gansenberg Andrew is a Member Service Consultant in the VSECU Burlington branch. He is passionate about all types of cooperatives and has helped to start up an investing club to support the cooperative economy. You’ll generally find him playing with his dog, riding his bike, or playing Settlers of Catan.
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