Keep your finances in check by reducing costs this winter

A 2017 study showed that people spend around half of their income running their home – both bills and their mortgage/rent.  With such a large percentage of your money going on something as straightforward as keeping a warm and dry roof over your head, it’s important to save money when you can, and this is never more important than in winter.

Colder and darker evenings and with Christmas looming, finances can be a concern in the winter.  There are some practical ways you can save money over the winter, without investing in a lot of specialist equipment:

  • Plug draughts. You might not be able to afford new windows, but you can make sure curtains are drawn as an additional barrier between you and the cold outside.  A new front door can set you back hundreds, but many people make patchwork draught excluders from old bedding or curtains and rice.  Filling gaps in the floorboards can be inexpensive and help prevent draughts.
  • Put on a jumper before putting on the heating. I’m not saying huddle under a blanket breathing out steam, but if you’re just a bit chilly, a jumper will probably do the trick quicker and more cheaply than the heating.
  • Embrace ‘Christmas getting earlier every year.’ We might moan about Christmas adverts in October, but use this as a reminder to start picking up Christmas bits before the price creeps up as demand goes up around Christmas.
  • Shop seasonal for fruit and veg. If you want strawberries in winter, you will pay a premium.  Check what’s in season, and you’ll find it cheaper.  In the winter, you’ll find root veg like parsnips and swede as well as leeks, cauliflower, squash and brussel sprouts cheaper – less than 50p in some places.  For fruit you’ll be looking at apples, pears and tangerines,or even tinned fruit.
  • Sell old items ahead of Christmas and raise the money for Christmas presents without feeling the pinch. Clear the decks of unwanted items using eBay or Facebook marketplace.   Make sure you stay safe when selling online, and never put your personal safety at risk when meeting buyers.