Winter can make us over-sleep, over-eat and be less social. But despite its downfalls, winter is not all bad.
18 July 2016
The winter season brings with it a decrease in temperatures and an increase in tiredness, depression and food cravings. Known as the season of hibernation, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the ‘winter blues’. However, this is the perfect time of year to reflect on your finances and make an action plan. Here are some tips to get the best out of winter.
Make a plan for the summer season – This is the perfect time to put a plan into action for the upcoming summer months. Write down long, medium and short- term savings goals and plot them out on a calendar. Think about what you want to achieve and ask yourself, are these goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based)?
Put away any money you would have spent on social outings – According to the social research company McCrindle, 42% of all people experience a reduced social life and participate in fewer interactions during winter. This can lead to increased spending on comfort food and/or drink. Why not put this money into a winter savings account for a holiday or an investment instead?
Have a ‘staycation’ – During winter most people are tempted to escape the cold by vacationing across the ditch or in the islands. If you’re looking to escape the daily grind why not take a trip somewhere around the country instead?
Get ready for Christmas early – With only months till Christmas, July is the perfect time of year to start purchasing presents. This will prevent future financial stress at the end of the year and allow more planning time.
Find other ways to stay warm – Before using a heater, try other options to stay warm. Layer up, wear socks, use a hot water bottle or light a fire. These are great ways to stay warm and, an added bonus, they’re free. If you have to use a heater try using a timer which will prevent it from being accidently left on for long periods.
Lose track of your electricity, gas and hot water usage – In winter utility bills can go up dramatically. Keep track of how often the heater is on and how long you spend in the shower. It can be all too tempting to spend extra minutes under the hot water, but every minute counts towards the next bill.
Spend too much money on takeaways or eating out – According to McCrindle, in winter 47% of all people suffer an increased tendency to overeat, with more than 2 in 5 experiencing a craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods. New food ordering applications have made it all too easy to order from home. Despite the convenience, this can make it difficult to keep track of exactly how much money has been spent. Try combatting this by cooking meals on Sunday for the week ahead, so you’re not tempted to buy lunch during the week.
Resort to retail therapy – While summer encourages outdoor activities, winter can seem like the perfect time to indulge in some retail therapy – but this will only drain your bank account quickly.