Winter is fast approaching, and given the current weather, it’s likely to get even colder and wetter over the next few months. With this in mind, it’s important to start planning for ways to save money during the Winter. These ways can range from lowering energy bills to investigating where you’re due a tax rebate in the New Year, through to adjusting your driver habits, checking for winter allowances, and choosing the right kind of loans for any future payments. By exploring some of these areas, it can be possible to save money during the Winter, even with the costs of Christmas.
1 – Lower Energy Bills
As well as shopping around for different suppliers, which can be worth it, but can also be time consuming, there are some simple ways that you can save money around the house. This can mean making small adjustments to your home to use less energy. Blinds can protect and insulate windows, while leaks can be checked for in the Autumn to ensure that you’re not needlessly losing heat. You may also want to consider whether you need to regularly turn the heating up, or keep it on a constant level, rather than just adding another layer of clothing.
2 – Investigate Your Tax Situation
Most people leave their taxes for the end of the year, but few actively look for opportunities to receive refunds. HMRC eventually provide these, but you can speed up the process by getting your tax return done early, and looking for areas where you might have overspent in terms of income tax or National Insurance payments. This is particularly important if you’re self employed, and it’s worth discussing with your accountant or the HMRC directly whether there are any areas where you might be owed a rebate for the New Year.
3 – Adjust Your Driving Habits
Driving can be one of the most significant causes for high costs during the Winter. Changing winter tyres, and paying out for slips and accidents can lead to higher insurance premiums and one off payments. If possible, reduce your mileage by lowering your speed, leaving early for work to avoid traffic, and not warming up your engine too much in the morning to avoid wear and tear in the engine. You should also regularly check your tyre pressure if the roads get icy, and should ensure that batteries and antifreeze levels are well maintained.
4 – Check Eligibility for Winter Allowances
Anyone born on or before July 5th, 1951, is eligible for a winter fuel allowance. You can also receive this allowance if you’re living with someone who is eligible. For a person living alone, this is £200, with those over 80 years of age eligible for £300. If you’re living with someone over 60, then you can receive £100. Those claiming Pension Credit can also take advantage of a Christmas bonus as part of their State Pension.
5 – Select the Right Loans
If you need to take out a loan during the Winter for a future holiday or other payments, then it is worth considering which loan can save you money. An unsecured loan, which can result in high interest charges, can be made more affordable by using a guarantor loan, whereby a third party agrees to make payments on your behalf if you cannot. Alternatively, you can look into getting loans for bad credit and checking for any problems with your credit score to see whether you are losing out on favorable loan terms.
Liam Ohm writes about finance and loans. He particularly enjoys giving helpful advice to those who require it.