10 Practical Ways To Cut Costs This Christmas And Start Saving Money This Winter

Almost three-quarters (74%) of adults in the UK are concerned about inflation or the rising cost of living, according to a recent study by insurer Aviva.

The recent rise in inflation means rising household bills on everything from groceries to fuel to the car.

On top of that, the recent increase in energy bills for around 14 million homes across the country, combined with the withdrawal of the £ 20 per week increase in universal credit and the removal of UK government financial support to self-employed workers and employers. affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and it paints a pretty grim picture for the winter months to come.

However, if you’re keen on getting your bills under control and want to start cutting back on outbound spending and saving money before the New Year, there are a few ways to take the pressure off.

While the savings – if you can apply all 10 of these cost-cutting tips – can be huge, the reality is that you only need to accomplish one or two things on the list below to start improving. your personal finances.

10 ways to cut costs and save money this winter

1. Make small changes to your routine

Traditionally, people would have sought their energy to save big, but with the cheap deals waning due to soaring global wholesale gas prices, you could still make changes to your routine that could make up for some of the cost. the household bill. increases.

By taking a short shower instead of a bath, you could potentially use around 70 liters of water less each time, according to Smart Energy GB.

He also suggests drying clothes outside on dry days rather than always using a dryer, although we are now entering the colder months, this might be something to keep in mind for the spring.

Washing clothes at 30 degrees could also save electricity and turning off standby devices before going to work, at night and when not usually in use, could help, Smart Energy GB said.

2. Make sure your boiler is efficient

Maintaining a boiler will help minimize energy bills by helping it run more efficiently and reducing the risk of future failure, according to the gas registration body, the Gas Safe Register.

While money can be tight, making sure gas appliances are safe is essential. Warning signs include lazy yellow flames, constantly going out pilot lights, black marks or spots on or around gas appliances and increased condensation inside windows, according to the Gas Safe Register.

3. Check out the grants and benefits

The Ofgem regulator says some people may be eligible for financial assistance during the colder months, including winter fuel payments, cold weather payments or the hot house discount – to learn more, click here.

Employees who have worked from home for at least one day from 6 April 2021 can also apply for tax relief worth up to £ 125 from HMRC – find out more here.

4. What other bills could you reduce?

Martin Lewis recently urged everyone who pays for car or home insurance to look for a better deal before the rule changes take effect in early January.

The finance guru said the reason for the change was to end the price march – where customers who renew their insurance policies every year are penalized by seeing their prices go up while new customers get the best deals. – find out more here.

5. Reduce travel costs

If you’ve returned to the office or to your workplace now that the restrictions are lifted, you might feel the burn as oil prices rise due to the recent rise in inflation.

One way to get around this problem is to share a car with a friend, neighbor, or coworker, or consider purchasing a train or bus pass.

6. Save on food

Carrying a shopping list with you to stay focused, and visiting your local supermarket at a time of the day when they’re cutting back could help cut bills.

There may be other ways to save money by using apps such as ‘Too Good to Go’ which allows users to purchase food from their local stores and cafes that might otherwise be wasted, at a reduced price, but you won’t know exactly what food you will get until you collect it.

The way food is cooked could also reduce costs – Smart Energy GB says meals in a single pan means fewer items to wash, reducing heating and water costs.

7. Could you get a cheaper mortgage?

For many people, their biggest regular expense is their mortgage. Even for some people who think they have a hard time changing, it may be worth checking out.

The Association of Intermediate Mortgage Lenders (IMLA) says that many providers will lend to applicants with “non-standard” financial circumstances.

IMLA research among mortgage providers found that 88% would accept applications from independent borrowers and 71% would consider borrowers with irregular income.

Recognizing the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, 16% of lenders have reduced the periods in which independent borrowers must submit income statements.

Shop smart this Christmas and start saving money for 2022

8. Sort your savings

If you have any money left over, make sure it earns interest.

Tina Hughes, director of savings at the Yorkshire Building Society, said the company estimates people typically have a shortfall of £ 7,220 between how much they save in cash and what they need to feel safe .

She suggests making sure the money isn’t sitting in a zero-interest checking account when it could earn at least some interest in an easy-to-access savings account, or even a fixed-term account if you are. can block your money for a while.

9. Take your time when shopping for Christmas

Doing small amounts of Christmas shopping as you see a cheap deal, rather than panicking at the last minute, can help save you money in the long run. It will also give you more time to research the prices.

There are a number of ways to keep up to date with the latest news on Daily Record savings and benefits.

You can join the conversation on our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group for money saving tips, benefit news, consumer help and advice, and the latest shopping deals.

Sign up for our Record Money newsletter to get our best stories delivered straight to your inbox every Tuesday and Friday. You can register either by entering your email address in the registration box above on this page, or by clicking here.

You can also follow our Twitter account @Recordmoney_ for regular updates here.

10. Book your Christmas train tickets in advance to save money.

Trainline indicates that advance tickets for popular journeys during Christmas week have been made available.

It also has a free “ticket alert” service, where people can enter the ride they want. Some people could also save by using rail cards.

Get the latest news on savings and benefits straight to your inbox. Sign up for our weekly Money newsletter here.

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