Financial Winter Warmers

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Winter is around the corner and the colder weather usually means an increase in costs over this season. Not only do you use more electricity but your medical expenses are likely to increase and winter clothing is also, generally more expensive than summer wear. With a few weeks to go until we find ourselves in the middle of winter it is a good idea to refresh some ideas to make sure that we don’t blow our budget.

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Thinkstock

One of the biggest culprits of higher bills in winter is an increase in the use of electricity. In summer, there was no need to turn on heaters or electric blankets and summer foods, such as salads, don’t require any electrical appliance usage.

Eunice Sibiya, Head of FNB Consumer Education shares 4 ways you can keep warm while saving some cash.

Use kitchen appliances wisely

The frequency at which you use stoves and microwaves is likely to increase in winter therefore when you cook, cook in bulk. One of the most convenient meals to make in winter is soup and this can easily be frozen resulting in less cooking, less everyday use of your appliances and a electricity bills that stay in check.

Keeping warm without incurring sky high electricity bills

Try to keep the use of heaters and under-floor heating to a minimum. It is logical that you will save money if you keep these switched off but the opportunity to save money stretches further than this. Internal heating can make you more prone to getting sinus problems which can result in increased medical expenses.

Heating up the house

In the weeks leading up to winter, make sure that you check that there are not air leaks or areas of your house that needs to be sealed or insulated.
A little insulation can go a long way. Whilst you can do some insulation on your own, such as placing an insulation blanket over a geyser that quickly loses heat, you might want to get a professional in to make sure that your house does not require additional insulation.

Although this might be expensive, it is a once off cost that is sure to make a difference to capturing the warmth in the house or the cool feeling in summer. If you cannot afford it this year, save up to have this looked at in 2016.

Quick tips on securing the heat in your house is to close doors of most rooms, particularly rooms that you do not use, or to open the oven door once you have finished cooking to let the hot air out into the kitchen and living room areas for a bit of extra warmth.

Save on fuel

The drop in temperature in winter will result in the your car’s tire pressure being lower which can increase your fuel usage. Grab your car manual and check your maximum tire pressure then make sure that your tires stay pumped up throughout winter to make sure that you do not spend more on fuel than what you have to.

“Remember that the chills are likely to have you staying indoors more than in summer. Make the most of the money you save on dining out and entertainment by cooking hearty meals and cuddling up with blankets,” concludes Sibiya.