With the winter season on the horizon, you may be thinking that you will be faced with excessive utility bills because of the inevitable increase in energy consumption to ensure you stay warm and cosy on the colder days. It can be a hard few months if you have to be frugal anyway, especially when you have Christmas just around the corner too. The associated costs all add up and, before you know it, you’re faced with bills that you’ll struggle to pay off without scrimping for months afterwards.
The trick is to be frugal as much as you can. Your energy consumption is bound to increase a little when the cold weather comes, but if you’re sensible in other areas, you’ll be able to afford it. For a start, compare different tariffs to what you’re already paying – it can be amazing what a simple switch of energy provider can do to your bills. Also check that you’re not on an estimated billing tariff and that what you’re paying for your consumption is correct. Discounts for direct debit and paperless billing may also be offered.
If you need a little help improving your home, there are government-backed plans in place so that you don’t need to panic about how to get a new boiler, or how to replace your single glazed windows. Any home improvement like this will also help to keep your utility bills as low as possible, so take a look at the boilers and central heating from British Gas, and what funding may be available to you.
Rather than reaching for the thermostat straight away, to turn it up a notch or two, grab a cardigan or a blanket instead. Keep your living room nice and toasty, and the bedrooms heated for when you go to bed, but there’s no reason why other rooms that aren’t used as often should be heated too. Hallways, spare bedrooms and bathrooms are only used when they need to be used, so there’s no need to heat them all day – turn the radiators off. If you need warmth, perhaps if you have guests staying or you want a lovely hot soak in the bath, turn the radiators on again until you’re finished.
Consider decluttering your home before Christmas arrives. Not only will you make some space, but if you sell your wares, you could make some money too. Use auction sites and social networks to sell what you can to raise extra funds to tide you over this expensive season. Remember that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure – it’s amazing what people are willing to buy, especially when it comes to kid’s clothing, which can prove to be incredibly expensive considering how long they’re in them.
Christmas gifts don’t need to be expensive either – use your creativity to make cards and gifts, rather than spending a fortune on family and friends.
There are plenty of ways in which to be frugal this winter; from savings around the house to reducing your outgoings in other ways. Be savvy with your spending, and your saving, to keep your costs under control.
Post by Roxanne Wells
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