04 Nov Smart financial decisions to see you through the winter
Smart financial decisions to see you through the winter
Winter can be a very expensive time of year. It is renowned as the time that your boiler is most likely to break, and your heating bills increase – that’s before we’ve even taken Christmas and New Years celebrations into account. It is important, then, to make smarter financial decisions in order to avoid overspending as the weather cools.
In December alone we typically increase our spending on everything from food and alcohol to clothes and leisure items. It’s even true with essential items like toiletries – we typically spend around 56 per cent more on toiletries in December compared to the average month.
If you are looking to get your household finances in order before winter, it is important to make a plan and get to work as soon as possible. So, here are some great tips for good financial decisions to see you through the expensive winter period.
Fix the roof while the sun is shining
It’s a cliché phrase, and we’re not taking it literally here, but it definitely makes sense to plan improvements to your home in the months leading up to winter. A great example of this is your boiler. It has been shown in studies that boilers are most likely to breakdown in the winter months – especially December and January.
It can make a lot of sense to have your boiler checked over in the months before winter to ensure that it is in good enough condition to last the colder period. This is a smart move financially because spending a little on repairs and maintenance is much cheaper than having to fork out for a broken boiler or an emergency boiler engineer visit.
And it’s not just the boiler. Think about all of the important parts of the home – the oven, the windows, the bathroom – it’s better to get any issues dealt with early, rather than having to pay for callouts at a busy time.
One of the most important changes that you can make to your home before winter rolls around is the addition of insulation. When homes are properly insulated, they keep the heat in and keep the property warmer. This can make a huge difference to how much you need to heat the house and the amount that you spend.
Consider the places in your home that lose the most heat, such as the loft or through thin walls. These are the areas that need insulating.
Minimise your energy bills
Whilst insulating the property is certainly one way that you can reduce your energy bills, there’s actually plenty more that you can be doing to decrease your costs. And it’s a good start to looking at how high you are currently heating the house – if you were to reduce your thermostat heat by just 1 degree, it could reduce your heating bills by around 10 per cent.
Other important ideas include ensuring that appliances like dishwashers and washing machines are completely full before using them and making sure that lights are turned off when you leave a room. These are simple changes but they can actually make a huge difference.
Plan for Christmas
Undoubtedly, Christmas is one of the major reasons that winter is such an expensive time of year. The smartest thing that you can do, then, is to make a plan for your Christmas and New Year spending, to ensure that you are covered for the costs.
There are plenty of ways that you can reduce your overall Christmas spending. This could include planning for the food that you will actually eat rather than just going crazy and buying anything that looks good. And of course, never use credit to afford Christmas – you will only find yourself paying it back over the expensive winter.
Prep your car
It is important to ensure that your car is prepared for winter. It’s a great idea to have winter tyres installed, and have the car checked over to ensure it’s ready for the colder weather. While it might cost a little to have this work carried out, it’s better to get it out of the way now rather than facing car troubles later.
There are many financial decisions that you can make that will help you to get through the winter as cheaply as possible – it’s important to act fast so that you are completely prepared.