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5 ways to manage your money through winter

Winter can feel challenging. From rising energy costs to the festive period, the colder months can eat into your budget.

Here are some steps you can take to help reduce your expenses, and possibly add to your savings.

Create a winter budget

Creating a budget can help you account for additional winter costs. Use our budget planner to see where you’re spending your money, and where you could potentially make changes to cover any upcoming expenses.

It also helps to create a specific Christmas budget so you know how much you’ve got to spend and what you want to do with it. Think about who you need to buy presents for, extra food and anything else you’ll need – such as decorations and days or nights out. Taking the time to plan for the festive holidays can help you avoid overspending

You may want to start saving in advance, or look for sales in the run up to Christmas to get presents at a discount. 

Check your energy tariff

With many households facing rising bills, it’s well worth checking your energy supplier and seeing if you could find a cheaper tariff with them or another company.

If your previous energy supplier was forced to close down, and you’re being moved to a new one – you’ll need to wait for them to contact you and explain what’s happening with your account. Citizens Advice says not to switch your supplier or tariff until your account has been moved – as you may find it harder to get any money you’re owed.  

There are ways you can reduce your energy usage too, like only using the heating when you’re home and installing a smart meter. Read our article on how to save money on energy for more ways to save. 

Make your home more energy efficient

There are also things you can do around your home in the run up to winter to help reduce costs. Simple changes, such as replacing traditional light bulbs with low energy ones can save you money on your bills. 

If you haven’t already, you could also draught proof any unwanted gaps in your windows and doors, and insulate your hot water tank to reduce heat loss. 

Explore: How to make your home more energy efficient

Check what you’re entitled to

If you’re finding it hard to cover your costs and need some extra help, you may be entitled to support. For example, if you’re on a low income or receive pension credit, you may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount Scheme

You may also get the Winter Fuel Payment. You should automatically receive this if you’re eligible. If you don’t receive it but think you’re entitled to it, you may need to make a claim. 

Explore: What benefits can you claim?

Set a savings goal

Setting yourself a goal can give you something to work towards and make you more likely to save. Whether it’s for Christmas, the New Year, or you just want to build a safety net – it helps to have a target in mind.

If you’ve got money left over in your budget, aim to set yourself a specific amount to save each month. Or, if you’re looking to make changes to your current spending habits, such as switching energy suppliers, you could save any money you manage to free up. 

Continually adding to your savings account, even if it’s just a small amount, can help you grow your savings and reach your target. 

Explore: Savings goal calculator