January 09, 2013

10 Money Saving Tips for the winter

With the winter upon us, it’s worth spending time considering some money saving tips. These tips can range from investing in the upkeep of your home to prevent against future problems, and also covers the need to budget properly for Christmas presents. Similarly, it’s important to choose the right kind of loans if you need some extra financial assistance during the holiday. Being frugal, and knowing where to take calculated risks with your money, will help you to control your finances during the coming months. Some tips for saving money during the winter consequently include:

1. Re-Insulating Your Windows

You can lose a lot of heat through poorly insulated windows. Making an investment now could save you a lot on bills later in the year, particularly if you find yourself over-relying on central heating and gas when the temperature drops.

2. Avoiding High Interest Loans

If you need to borrow money for a family holiday or presents, then be careful about taking out short term, high interest loans like payday loans. It’s often better to go for a more flexible and longer repayment schedule with a provider that can offer favourable terms for bad credit, as well as restricted or no fee options.

3. Working Out a Budget In Advance

Spend time working out a general budget, and then narrow down on things like food and going out. You can save some money by buying food in advance and freezing it, and by taking advantage of discounts and deals on Christmas presents - if you haven’t already, check for any vouchers or loyalty cards that can be used for points in the run up to Christmas.

4. Changing Your Driving Habits

You can end up spending a lot of money on your car during the Winter months, with most going on petrol and fixing problems. Conserve fuel by reducing acceleration, and by checking your tyre pressure and removing heavy loads from the back of a vehicle. It’s also worth getting a maintenance check and tune up before the weather gets much colder to avoid problems getting worse.

5. Looking Into Alternative Energy Tariffs

It’s a good idea to compare different energy providers just before the end of the year. Making a switch now can translate to significant savings if you get a better rate for months when you are likely to use a lot of fuel.

6. Winter Allowances

UK residents should take advantage of winter fuel allowances, which are available for anyone born on or before July 5th 1951, and can work out to several hundred pounds. People living with someone who’s eligible can receive £200 if they’re over 80, and £100 if they’re over 60.

7. Using Internet Discounts

Take advantage of Internet discounts when doing your Christmas shopping. Look for short term and day-only deals on websites, and try to use free post and packaging to cut down on costs.

8. Checking Tax Credits

You may be entitled to tax credits that haven’t been claimed during the rest of the year. It’s possible to use online entitlement calculators to work out if you’re due any allowances, such as child tax credits - the money may not come through until the New Year, but can help to balance out prior spending.

9. Avoiding Home Emergencies

Prepare your home for any potential problems, such as freezing weather, by being aware of them before they cause serious damage. Particularly worth looking out for are frozen pipes, which can cause thousands of pounds of damage if left unattended. If you’re going way for more than a few days at Christmas, consider switching off your stopcock.

10. Using an Energy Monitor

Digital energy monitors can check how energy you’re using around the house. Keeping an eye on its levels can help to remind you to switch off unused appliances, while allowing you to realise which appliances are using the most electricity around the house.

Liam Ohm writes about finance. For a great selection of loans he recommends www.gbploans.com online. In his spare time he enjoys reading, teaching and networking.

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