“I couldn’t sleep at night. I thought of my family and that they may end up on the street. DebtBusters helped me save my home.” – Simon, DebtBusters Client
5 May 2015
As we say goodbye to the extremely hot and windy summer months and say hello to cold fronts, rain and hail, we must also bear in mind the cost involved in the change of season. This period can have a large impact on various line items in your budget. Here’s why winter generally costs you more money.
1.Buying items which help you to keep warm
During winter time, it is a lot colder and consumers have to try to keep warm. This brings about extra expenses such as warmer clothing, more blankets, more fires and heaters. These amounts can add up especially if there are many children and other dependants in the household. When budgets are already tight, consumers may resort to buying clothing and home supplies on credit. This credit can be in the form of small loans, credit cards and often store cards from local retailers.
Use these DIY tips for staying warm in winter
- Block gaps in windows to cut out draughts
- Seal up your fireplace when you are not using it
- Place carpets on tiled or wooden floors
- Insulate your ceiling
- Hang up thick curtains/blinds to retain heat
2. Consumption of electricity increases in winter
Another factor is the increasing usage of electricity in the household. As it will get darker earlier and the sun will rise later, the lights in the household are on for longer and electricity consumption increase. This is bad news for struggling consumers, let alone Eskom. Consumers also tend to use more warm water and it is likely that ovens and stoves will be used more to cook hot food. All of these will push up the price of water and electric bills and increase overall household expense.
Make sure you heat your house up in the most affordable way
- Use energy efficient devices.
- Close doors in unoccupied rooms
- Let plenty of warm sunlight in during the day.
Make sure you are financially ready for winter.
- Budget – It is important to try and budget for pre-winter expenses.
- Save – Create a savings pot before winter and put money aside to use towards any expenses. When the time comes, you will not have to sacrifice usual living expenses or borrow more in order to account for these expenses.
- Plan – Some consumers are also used maintaining a certain level of living expenses, which makes use of almost all their income. To avoid this, it is vital to plan for your expenses as well as unexpected expenses which can occur during winter so that you are not left with any money.
- Avoid Credit – If you are in a situation where all your income is used towards expenses, do not use credit to get through the month as this will only worsen your situation the following month.