23 Feb

Written by Kathryn Vercillo on February 23, 2009

We always hear that phrase that we should “save our money for a rainy day”. The idea behind this is that saving today gives us money just in case something comes up – like a rainy day when we need some indoor entertainment that costs a few bucks. However, you don’t have to spend your money just because there’s a little bit of rain outside. In fact, when the rain starts coming down, you might actually find yourself able to save some money. Yes, instead of saving money for a rainy day, you can save money on a rainy day.

Here’s a look at some of the ways that you can do that:

Use a Rain Barrel. One of the best ways that you can make a rainy day work for your pocket book is to collect that rain water for use around your home. A rain barrel (also known as a rainwater tank in America or a water butt in the UK) provides an easy method of collecting rain water.

Once you’ve collected the rain water, you can use it for almost any chore around the house that requires the use of water. Collected rainwater is particular great for watering indoor plants and gardens as well as doing chores around the house that require soapy water (such as washing cars or mopping floors. If properly filtered, rainwater can even be used for drinking and cooking.

Rain barrels are fairly inexpensive so you shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money on this but if you really want to be frugal about it then you should make your own rain barrel. If you’re just getting started with this and don’t want to invest too much time and energy, you can use various containers around your home to collect rainwater for use in small activities around the house. After you’ve decided that this is something you want to invest a little bit more in, you can work on creating a better rainwater storage system. Ultimately this could save you a fortune on your water bills!

Create a Rain Garden. A rain garden is one tool that is used in green home landscaping. You create the garden in such a way that it will naturally receive rainwater from runoff areas such as roofs and driveways. This rainy day garden use of water isn’t practical (or financially smart) for all people. However, if you are really into gardening and you’re already spending a lot of money on keeping your plants alive then it may be worth the investment to alter the garden so that it naturally receives rain water and cuts down on your garden watering costs.

Plus you are helping the environment around you. If you’re someone who spends money on carbon offsets or anything like that then you can have a clear conscious and stop spending that kind of cash just by making use of the rain that you get for free. Perhaps more important is the fact that the rain garden puts you one step closer to having a green home and it is believed that a green home is a healthier home. This could mean that you save money on health costs as you green your home. We always think of rain as being something that causes colds and illness but if you could actually take advantage of the rain to green your home then you may actually save on medical costs!

Invest in a Rain Monitor. This is another trick for gardeners but one that’s not nearly as involved as creating a rain garden. The rain monitor is a simple tool that can be set up in a garden and synced with any automatic sprinkler systems that are already installed. The rain monitor measures rainfall and turns off the sprinklers any time that they aren’t needed. This saves you money on watering costs. The rain monitor itself requires a small initial investment (less than $20) but it doesn’t use any outside power so you don’t have to spend any money once it’s in place.

Wash Clothes in the Rain. Some people believe that clothes washed by hand in the rain are just as clean as clothes washed in the house. Plus rainwater tends to increase the softness of clothes which makes them more comfortable to wear. You save money on the cost of using your washing machine and still end up with clean clothes. This is ideal in places where the rain starts and stops (rather than raining steadily for a long period of time) because the clothes can then be dried outside on the clothesline when it’s not raining anymore.

Wash Your Car With a Storm. People often complain that it rains as soon as they’ve washed their cars. Most people feel that rain water makes their car dirtier, leaving water spots and other unsightly stains. But if you drive around in the rain then you may get rid of the ugly spots while still cleaning your car. It’s debatable whether or not this is frugal since you do have to spend the money on gas to drive around but if you’ve got some errands to run anyway then you may want to try it and see if it saves you money on a car wash. You may find that your errands go more quickly since there are less people on the roads during many storms. Alternatively you can just get out there and scrub away as the rain is coming down to utilize the rain for washing the car.

Let The Kids Shower in the Rain Sometimes. Kids love to play in the rain. If they’re young enough, it may be possible to convince them to use some soap and shampoo at the end of their playtime to clean off that outside dirt. Of course, you don’t want to do this on a regular basis since you probably prefer that your kids shower in the family’s tub but it’s something that you can do now and then on a safe rainy day. Your kids will have fun and you’ll save some money on the water bill that month.

Enjoy Free Indoor Activities. One of the best things about a rainy day is that it encourages you to stay inside. Unfortunately, many people waste a lot of money trying to entertain themselves indoors. They use rainy days to go to expensive movies or enjoy things like indoor ice skating. Instead, you should use your rainy day to get creative and do indoor activities around the house. Playing cards and board games with your family, putting together a family play or making music with one another are all free things that can really bring you closer on a rainy day. In this way, you not only save money but you also feel richer because of the shared experience.

Work on Frugal Projects Around the House. Maybe you don’t have the kind of family that wants to hang out together doing some familial bonding on a rainy day. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use your rainy day to its full advantage from inside your home. In fact, rainy days are a great time to work on those projects around the house that will save you money. Use the day to work on your budget, browse online for smart investment information, fix the leaky pipes that are driving up your water bill and otherwise take care of those things that are so easy to put off when it’s nice and sunny outside and you don’t want to be indoors.

Spring is almost here and that means that there is going to be a lot of rain in our near future (and some places are still in the midst of their winter rains). Take advantage of the opportunity to get creative in figuring out how to use a rainy day (and the water that comes from it) to enhance your frugal life.



  1. 3

    July 4th, 2011

    Geez, that’s unbeeliabvle. Kudos and such.

  2. 2

    Dustin Klein
    March 5th, 2009

    Great ideas here, when I was a kid my mom made rainy days into ‘cleaning days.’ So that is always a great activity for the family and your also getting the house cleaned up. So everyone is happy (expect for the kids maybe)


  3. 1

    Importance of budgeting
    February 25th, 2009

    Nice post
    A budget is a spending plan that includes everything you will spend money on. A good budget is a spending plan that includes everything you will spend money on and stays within your income.
    Budgeting tips, information, advice, and resources to help you set up a successful budget and stay motivated.
    Budgeting is something that many of us don’t like to consider as we think it will tie us down. But if you really stop and think about it, budgeting is simply a means of looking at your income and expenditure and deciding on what is most important to you.

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