After paying all essential outgoings and bills, one in five people have no disposable income left, and therefore find the expense that surrounds the festive season to be a challenge, according to a recent financial fitness study by YouGov for home management site Hoppy.co.uk. The amount of money people spend at this time of year can be significantly more than other months too, with the Bank of England estimating that household expenditure can increase by £800 over the month of December.
However, there may be ways in which people can reduce their outgoings – helping them to either save the spare cash or put it to a different use this season.
As the countdown continues, Richard Longmore, Managing Partner of Hoppy, has shared his top tips on how consumers can save money by making small changes to how they heat their home this winter.
He said: “When looking at the changes you can make around your home to save on your household bills, it’s a good idea to think about your home interiors. For example, lighting can have a vast impact on the look and feel of a room.
“However, not only can your choice of lighting affect the aesthetic of a room but the bulbs you choose can also have a huge impact on your energy bills too.”
This could include replacing lightbulbs with LED bulbs, the team at Hoppy suggested.
“Simply changing the bulbs in your home to LED bulbs, can save households on average £7 a year per LED lightbulb, on energy usage and the bulbs can last for two whole decades, saving the additional cost of rebuying.
“In addition to this, if the crisp winter chill in the air inspires you to overhaul your home interiors, it’s worth considering your choice of paint colour.
“Decorating your home with darker tones such as on trend deep navy will absorb the heat in your home, resulting in a warmer space. Whereas cooler shades like magnolia and pale grey are perfect for creating a cool living space in the summer.”
Insulate exposed pipes
“Having exposed pipes through your house may be costing you money as the heat escaping is simply lost in your home,” Mr Longmore said.
“By wrapping some insulating foam tubes around your pipes, the heat will be contained to the pipes resulted in less heat wasted.
“Another benefit of insulation is its ability to stop pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes are common during the coldest winter months especially in homes on a budget.
“By insulating your pipes, you can become more energy efficient in a low-cost manner.”
Time your heating
“Having the heating on 24/7 is costly and whilst it may be tempting to have a cosy home, there are ways of doing it so that you can save energy and money.
“If you are working, make sure you can put a timer on your heater and set for the heating to come one hour before you wake up and one hour before you return home.
“However, it’s also important to ensure you are on the best energy deal available to you with an energy provider compatible to your household’s needs,” Mr Longmore insisted.
“Research has shown that if you have been with the same provider for several years then it is likely that you are paying more than you should for your energy usage.
“Hoppy works with trusted and accredited service providers across the industry to compare all publicly available energy tariffs and offer the widest choice of the cheapest deals available to consumers.
“This service enables users to easily switch providers of the cheapest utility, broadband/tv and mobile deals in the country – and creating savings of up to £458 per year on utilities.”
Martin Lewis, the founder of Money Saving Expert, has also spoken on the topic of switching energy supplier this week, during The Martin Lewis Money Show.
During the episode, Mr Lewis warned recipients of the Warm Home Discount to check whether they could get the discount if they switched before doing so.