Preparing Your Home for Christmas: Where Can You Cut Costs?

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As the cold weather draws in and the nights get darker, we find ourselves thinking about the Christmas season. For a lot of people, Christmas can be quite a stressful time. Money is needed for presents, food and decorations and it can feel rather daunting.

Luckily, the thought of spending doesn’t have to feel so scary and there are plenty of ways that you can start saving money in the home.

Create A Budget

The number one rule for saving money in the home is to create a budget. You may not realise it but the little spends you make each money can really begin to add up. Maybe it’s time to switch that takeaway coffee out for one at home and those weekly takeaways? How about we make it a monthly one? Having a budget and keeping track of your spends will help you stay on top of your finances whilst helping you identify areas where you could be cutting costs.

Creating a budget couldn’t be easier as there are now plenty of online budget planners which can help you get started. If you aren't savvy with online apps, then you can always keep a budget notebook. Just remember to keep it in a safe place so you don’t use it.

Energy Bills

Have you noticed a recent rise in your energy bills? This could be down to several things. Most of us are guilty of leaving our appliances on standby, but did you know this could be slowly increasing your energy bills? It’s time to get into the habit of switching your appliances off when they are not in use. Even on standby they are drawing out energy.

Your boiler could also be playing a huge role in your rising energy bills. Old boilers are much less energy efficient than new ones and if you’ve had yours for a long time, it could be time to switch it out for a new one. If you are unsure about how old your boiler is, it can help to talk to a professional. Boiler Central are a company who have helped install and replace boilers across the country. They can help you combat rising energy bills and heat your home just in time for the winter. You can check out a new combi boiler cost, here.

Always Have a Shopping List

Most of us don’t realise how effective a shopping list can be. Not only can it help you avoid any food waste in the future, but it can also save you a lot of money. We are all guilty of going into the supermarket and getting tempted by offers on our favourite sweets and treats, but they soon start to add up. The worst thing you can do is also go to the shops when you’re hungry as you’ll just want to throw everything you see into the trolley – trust me we’ve been there!

Writing down a shopping list will help to keep you on track, and you can stay within your budget. That way, you won't be tempted to throw items in the trolley that you really don’t need. There are plenty of menu plan shopping lists out there which can help to steer you in the right direction.

Use Cash

Contactless cards have made it a lot easier for us to pay with everything on our bank cards. However, this could lead to you overspending and damaging that all-important budget. Instead, it is advised that you get into the habit of using cash. Once you have your monthly budget, it can be helpful to withdraw the amount of cash that you have left to spend for the month. This will help you when it comes to shopping as you will have a clear idea of how much money you can spend.

Most of us can get into the habit of using our cards for everything and before we know it, we’ve spent a lot more than we had hoped. So, it’s time to put that card away and exchange it for cash.

Eat At Home

An effective way to save money in the home is to ditch those takeaways! It’s time to start eating at home. Sure, takeaways and meals out to your local restaurant are nice, but they can certainly start to add up. It’s time to stick to our very own restaurant at home. There is an array of cheap meal ideas out there and all you have to do is a quick Google search to find them. As well as saving yourself a lot of money, you can also have fun in the process. For many, cooking is a therapeutic activity and it’s always nice to get the family involved. You certainly don't need to be a top chef to cook a fantastic meal!