Let’s face it: winter isn’t cheap. On top of Christmas, New Year and the ever-so-tempting Boxing Day sales, you’ve got the extra heating and extra electricity to consider. And the chance that you’re going to eating a little bit more too. There’s nothing like comfort eating in the winter, is there? But all that means that the cost of winter can creep up and up, before you’ve even realised it. Pair that with the long break between December and January’s pay check and you’ve got a recipe for a very tight week or two. However, there is a way to make sure that you’re still comfortable, even during the depths of winter: by making and sticking to a winter budget. In this post, we’ll be taking you through how to stick to a budget for winter, but beware, this isn’t mind-blowing advice. They’re just sensible things that will make a huge difference.
How to stick to a budget for winter:
At Bamboo, we’re huge advocates of making a budget to stay on top of your finances. In this article, we’re going to assume that you’re clued up on how to make a budget and the apps you can use to do so – but if not, you can get caught up in this article.
Winter budgeting tip #1: Don’t fall for the all-too-tempting supermarket deals
We’ve all been there: it’s mid-December, and the supermarket shelves are offering two-for-one on tins of Roses, boxes of shortbread and six packs of extra special mince pies. By Christmas, you’ve got 6 tins of Roses, 4 boxes of shortbread and 36 mince pies sitting in the cupboard. By New Year, you’ve still got 4 tins of Roses, lots of shortbread and you’re sick to death of mince pies.
We can all get suckered by tempting supermarket deals every now and again. And for us, our will power is at its lowest around Christmastime. Blame it on combination of festive spirit, Christmas music and a soft spot of Christmas-themed treats. Avoid temptation by making a list before you go to the supermarket of things you need – if the thing you need is one offer, result! If it isn’t and you’re tempted, remind yourself that you probably don’t need it.
Winter budgeting tip #2: Get creative with Christmas shopping
The average UK household spends about £750 on Christmas every year, a pretty huge figure for just one day of the year. But there are ways to cut down the costs without sacrificing on a great day. Getting creative with Christmas presents to looking elsewhere for your Christmas shopping can help you save. This month, we’ve written quite a few articles on budget Christmases, so be sure to check them out: there’s one on DIY presents, and another on getting the most out of your Christmas budget.
Winter budgeting tip #3: Keep warm
- Even if you’re at home, wear a jumper or even a scarf. Make sure they’re really comfortable (nobody wants to wear an itchy jumper when they’re trying to relax) so that you enjoy wearing them. This means that you’ve always got an extra layer and don’t have to crank the heating up to stay warm.
- Light candles and use lamps. The yellow light of the candles and lamps creates the illusion of warmth in your house, which tricks you into feeling warmer. It sounds ridiculous, but try it and tell us we’re wrong.
- Shut the door! This traps the heat in the room and keeps you warm. For more advice on winter-proofing your home, check out our top tips on how to get your house prepped for colder weather.
- Buy a hot water bottle. Seriously, hot water bottles are incredible. They don’t just warm the bed up, but they keep you warm all night too.
- Eat hearty. There’s nothing better on a cold day that tucking into a hearty winter meal. Not only does it warm you up, but getting the right nutrients leaves you with more energy on darker days. Eating in can really help to stick to your budget for winter. As grandma used to say, “it warms the cockles of your heart”. We’re not quite sure what our cockles are, but they’re definitely warmer once we’ve eaten a good meal. While you can’t go wrong with a nice winter soup, if you’re already getting a bit fed up with broths, soups and bread, here is an incredible article on hearty winter recipes that cost less than £1 per head.
Have you got any ideas on how to stick to your budget for winter? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.