A typical UK household spends an extra £700 during December according to the Bank of England, and with a turbulent economic climate this may be an unaffordable expense for many this year. Barclays experts shared exclusively with Express.co.uk their top winter savings tips and how to enjoy a money-savvy holiday season without breaking the bank.
Alice Jones, head of Money Mentors at Barclays, shared her expert tips on saving money during the winter.
During the colder seasons, household bills inevitably pick up – be it due to heating, food or simply looking for entertainment indoors which can add up.
Ms Jones noted that now is the perfect time to get one’s financial life in order by doing the admin they’ve been putting off and checking their tariffs to ensure they are getting the best possible price.
She shared: “Using comparison sites will help you compare and switch deals – alternatively, it’s always worth calling your existing supplier and asking to be put onto its cheapest deal, which in some cases can save hundreds.
“By taking your household bills through a much needed winter review, you’ll have a better picture of your finances, and can rework your budget accordingly.”
Holiday festivities are expensive and there’s usually no way of avoiding them, but Ms Jones noted that simply going to high street alternatives, like charity shops, for one’s Christmas shopping can save plenty.
Ms Jones commented: “From second-hand decorations for the Christmas dinner table, to an outfit for a Christmas party, you can get great quality items at a fraction of the cost – and know that you’re helping shop more sustainably at the same time. Equally, if you have anything that’s sitting in your attic, consider donating it in return.”
Unique Christmas giving
For those with large families and celebrations planned, Christmas presents are one of the biggest expenses that need to be planned months in advance.
Ms Jones suggested savers look for unique alternatives to the traditional Christmas gifting: “For example, why not opt for Secret Santa with a set spending limit? That way you’re not buying everyone a gift, and having a budget means you’re less likely to go overboard. Similarly, this Christmas is a great chance to opt for something more sustainable – could you make something for a loved one instead of buying them a gift.”
Avoid impulse purchases
While some may think ’tis the season to buy a bunch of non-necessities, Ms Jones suggested savers avoid these impulse purchases by committing to a 24 hour thought process before buying an item.
This can allow savers to really consider if they want it, need it and if they could not get a better deal or cheaper item somewhere else.
Set a New Year’s savings challenge
By the time January 1 comes around, most people have arranged their New Year’s resolutions and are filled with motivation to achieve them.
However, very few of these make it past February simply because there’s never really a plan …….