Sunday, 1 December 2019

How to Stop Winter from Destroying your Finances


How to Stop Winter from Destroying your Finances

The temperature outside has been dropping consistently for the last couple of months, and there’s a good chance it won’t heat up again for a little while now. On the plus side, the winter brings with it some amazing opportunities, including moments with beloved family members, meaningful days with friends, and the season of giving. On the other hand, winter is incredibly expensive, particularly when it comes to things like food and energy bills. 
Fortunately, if you’re worried about the extra expenses of this time of year, and the impact that they might have on your bank account, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. 

1.  Stop Leaking Heat from your Home

Keeping on top of your strategies for home maintenance can seriously reduce the amount you need to spend in the long-term. Many modern energy companies are offering free cavity and loft insulation today, which could save your home some serious money. You can check out whether your energy company is offering this service online. 
If you don’t have free help from your energy company, consider investing in some thicker curtains to keep draughts out, and use caulk and sealant to fill up any gaps around your home. Don’t forget to take advantage of draught excluders in the rooms of your home too. 

2.  Upgrade your Boiler

We know, this can sound like a super expensive way to save money. While you might need a loan to pay for your new boiler and thermostat this year, you can rest assured that the money you pay will be worth it in the long-term, when you’ve got a more energy-efficient home. Your old and run-down boiler could be using a lot more energy than necessary to keep your radiators warm through the winter. 
Additionally, if your boiler is past its best now, then there’s nothing to stop it from breaking down fully in the next couple of months. The last thing you want is the expense of an emergency repair to pay for, on top of the cost of a new boiler. 

3.  Check for Local Help

In the UK, there are sources of assistance out there for seniors who need help managing their heating bills. If you, or someone that you’re living with was born before the 5thof January 1953, then they’ll be eligible for help with their fuel payments in a lot of cases. There are government winter fuel payments that allow you to keep your costs low each year. 
Different regions of the UK have different benefit and payment schemes available. It’s worth speaking to a professional like someone from the citizen’s advice bureau to see what you could be eligible for. Or, consider talking to your energy supplier and asking for their tips. 

4.  Compare Suppliers

If you’re still with the same gas and electricity supplier that you’ve been with for the last seven years, now could be the time to make a change. A lot of the best deals on energy today are reserved to attract new customers. There’s a chance that you could have been shifted onto a less attractive tariff – and you’re not even aware of it. 
Take the details of how much electricity and gas you usually use onto a comparison website and see whether you could reduce your bills by switching to a different company. Changing energy suppliers is often a lot easier today than you used to be. In some cases, you can sign up for a new package online and your new provider will handle the switch for you. 

5.  Go Energy Efficient

Finally, the lights and appliances in your home are likely to be put to use more often during the winter months when you’re hibernating with your family. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re using energy efficient lightbulbs. As well as having a longer life-span than your traditional bulk, LED bulbs are also good for the environment. 

There are other things that you can use to make your home more energy efficienttoo. Once you’ve finished replacing your lightbulbs, take a look at things like your washing machine, tumble dryer, and even your kettle. While you might not be able to afford to replace all of them at once, you can get rid of the one that has the biggest issue with energy consumption and keep working on replacing items one at a time. Eventually, you’ll have a super-efficient home. 

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