As we approach the winter season, we may begin to feel a sinking feeling in our stomachs. Quickly, thoughts about all the extra heating as well as the presents, festivities and food shops needed for the holiday season fill our headspace and anxieties over our finances rise.
But whilst budgeting during the winter season may seem like a daunting prospect, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. In fact, there are several ways that you can cut back your costs during this time, and many of them are relatively small changes you can make that can have a big impact on your savings.
Read on to find out how you can save money during the winter months.
Why Is the Winter Expensive?
Heating – one of the major costs everyone incurs during the winter months, where it is typically colder depending on which state you live in. For instance, Wyoming, Vermont and Minnesota being some of the coldest US states to live in during the winter.
Not only is the winter expensive due to energy bills soaring, and the demand for gas and fuel going up, but also because we tend to spend a little more during these months. From Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas to New Years, these are all exciting winter events, yet can be really expensive. Food, presents, winter clothes, we’ll likely want to have it during the winter months. In some cases, a small loan like a $500 loan may be required to help you get through expensive periods of the year, but you should always look to make savings wherever you can.
Nevertheless, there are ways to save money on household costs during the winter months.
How Can I Save Money on Household Costs During the Winter?
Attacking your household habits is the first major step that can help you save money in the winter season. Bills, especially heating, can really rack up during the winter months so this is the first thing you will want to address. Here are some of the best ways to save money regarding your household bills this winter:
How to Save Money on Heating
- Turn Down Your Central Heating – By turning down your heating by only 1 degree you could save up to up to $80 a year, depending on your provider. Especially if you tend to have your heating on a lot, it would be incredibly beneficial to turn down your heating just a small amount as it’s likely you will not notice the change and it will definitely save you a bit of cash
- Switch Off Appliances – It sounds like a simple and obvious tip, but you should always make sure to leave computers and other electrical equipment or other household appliances off at the wall when you’re not using them. It’s easy to forget this, especially when you’re busy, but remembering can make a real difference long-term for your energy bills
- Be Sparing with Your Water – Again, another small thing, but by only boiling the amount of water you ned at a time, you can impact the amounts of energy and money you use over time. This, along with trying to take shorter showers, can aid in saving your energy bills long-term.
- Close Your Windows and Curtains – Whilst it may be obvious to keep your windows shut to help you spend less on heating, closing your curtains can also help conserve your heat. Heat can easily escape and cold air can come in through the windows, which may force you to spend more on heating your home, so remember to keep your windows shut and curtains closed where possible
- Draught Proof Your House – Along with keeping your windows shut and curtains drawn, you can draught proof your doors and windows, insulate the loft, lag the hot-water tank and pipes and consider getting cavity-wall insulation to stop heat from escaping and prevent you from spending more on heating your property
- Watch Out for Radiators – Keep your radiators and heaters clear so that heat can properly circulate. Also, make sure to not put furniture in front of them or dry washing on top of them as this will prevent them from heating the room. If there are rooms that you don’t use, turn off the radiators in them and close the door to prevent wasting energy
- Use Heating Controls – Use heating controls, such as thermostats and timers, to heat your home without wasting extra energy as these can help heat your home more efficiently and reduce waste
Although it may cost you a little extra to do things like insulate your house or have your heating system serviced each year to check its working before the cold weather hits, by doing this, you will be able to save money long-term. Other things you may want to do that are a little pricey, but could save you money in the long run are installing a new boiler – by installing a new, more effective model, you could be looking at saving hundred of dollars a year.
You might also want to invest in an electric heater, especially if your current central heating is not very effective and you want an easy solution. A small fan heater can be great when you’re getting ready in the morning and want just that little bit of heat. However, it would be a better option to use radiators to heat your room as this will help keep your whole room insulated instead of just small bursts of heat. Only invest in a heater if it is a real necessity and you use it sparingly.
In conclusion, when trying to save money in the winter on household bills, always try to opt for options that will save you money long-term as opposed to quick fixes. Turn off anything you aren’t using, don’t spend money on any unnecessary buys and consider investing in long-term heating solutions like a better boiler, heating controls and draught proofs for your house.
Other Ways to Save Money in the Winter
Besides thing you can do regarding your household bills, there are also several of other things you can do to cut spending money in winter. Firstly, it would be wise to cut extra spending on things such as food and clothes (although of course, this would be a good habit to carry all year round). Particularly during winter, you can do things like make soups, stews and casseroles in bulk. Preparing portions for each day it can help you reduce energy bills compared to cooking multiple meals per day.
Of course, with winter also comes the Holiday season. Along with Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving, this can amount to a lot of food, drinks and gifts. But you can always approach this time with an attitude of sustainability – perhaps try making gifts instead of buying them, use second-hand decorations and choose to have more intimate gatherings as opposed to huge parties.
Budgeting is an important habit to keep all year round, and if you want to save money in winter because you know it will be a more expensive season, it would be a good idea to save up some money throughout the year to help you throughout the season. This way, you should hopefully feel a lot more prepared for all the extra costs involved with the household bills and social events that come with the winter season.