Winter can put a chill on the wallet, with Christmas bills throwing even the most carefully-planned budgets off course and plunging temperatures leaving us whacking up the heating in our homes.
But there are some simple ways you may be able to cut back which could make life easier when those January bills start landing on your doormat.
Here are five ways to save money this winter.
Have an early spring clear-out
If you’ve overdone it on Black Friday, why not sell on unwanted items now? More than one in 10 (12%) of shoppers will have bought items on Black Friday only to find they already had something similar at home, a Gumtree survey found.
Going away? Book flights early
According to research from American Express, on average, people in the UK spend £88 travelling to meet friends and family over the festive period, so it’s worth trying to book any rooms, flights or train fares early to secure the best prices. You may also have rewards or points on your spending that could be used towards a hotel room deal.
Sort your energy bills
Recent research from MoneySuperMarket.com found that more than 30 fixed energy deals are due to expire in December meaning many customers risk being rolled on to more expensive standard tariffs during the coldest part of winter, when energy usage is at its peak. Bear in mind MoneySuperMarket.com says the end-to-end switching process can take up to three weeks but is often quicker.
Meanwhile, Scottish Gas has just announced plans to scrap standard variable tariffs (SVTs) for new customers as part of moves to introduce simpler bills.
The Big Six firm says the reforms, which follow similar pledges made on SVTs by some other suppliers, will be delivered by the end of March.
Insulate your home
As temperatures drop, bodies like Energy Saving Trust and Energy Saving Trust Scotland can help provide information on how people can insulate their home and potentially save on heating bills. Lagging pipes and insulating the loft can help to reduce heat loss.
Ease the strain of Christmas by looking out for cashback
With prices rising, cards which offer cashback can help to take some of the pressure off when it comes to paying bills. But research from Moneyfacts.co.uk has found shoppers will find that interest-free deals on credit cards have been shrinking over the past six months, giving consumers fewer months to spread the cost of Christmas.