To quote Jon Snow from Game of Thrones “Winter is coming” and with it comes a whole lot of sundry expenses many South African’s do not think of or take note of, however in tough economic times and the increase in VAT we need to be as vigilant and frugal as ever.
As the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer you should take the time to prepare for the rainy season and not let winter break your budget constraints. We know the age-old saying save for a rainy day but that doesn’t mean every rainy day needs to put you out of pocket.
So how can you save this Winter? We’ve put together 9 practical tips that will keep you warm and cosy without having to spend extra cash. Hopefully, these extra savings can be put to good use for your next summer holiday.
1. Warm up your home effectively
We tend to use more electricity in winter. Lower your electricity bill by using smart ways to warm up your home. For starters, take advantage of the daytime sun. Keep your curtains open during the day to make sure you let in as much sunlight as possible. If you have ceiling fans, rotate them clockwise at a low speed to push all the hot air that rises back down to the floor.
2. Invest in insulation
Did you know that heating and cooling accounts for up to 44% of the energy used in an average home? By insulating your home, you can save energy usage and reduce your electricity bill. Insulation works by preventing warm air from moving towards colder areas and concentrating it in one place.
This means that, if you have effective insulation in your home, your home will stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter. There are various types of insulation you can install in your home, including insulation in the attic, air ducts, ceiling, walls and foundation.
3. Get yourself a flask
One of the appliances that tend to be overused during the colder times is the kettle. Cravings for something warm like a hot cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate will have that kettle going consistently throughout the day and add to your electricity bill.
A smart way to reduce the use of the kettle is to boil a large amount of water and keep in a flask which you can use throughout the day and reduce your dependency for instantly boiling water.
4. Fix up your doors and windows
Older windows may be letting in cold air, especially if the framing around them is loose or rotting. If your windows are letting in cold air, either get a sealant to fix the wearing areas or cover your windows with tight-fitting curtains or blinds to absorb cold air and prevent warm air from escaping.
Doors, like windows, can let a lot of air escape. If there is a large gap underneath your door, use a door snack to prevent airflow. Also, remember to close all doors and windows of rooms you’re not using so that any warm air in your home does not escape.
5. If you have a fireplace, use it
Cut down your electricity bill by using your fireplace. If you feel as though lighting up a fire is too time to consume, consider getting it permanently sealed to prevent cold air from flowing through the opening.
6. Get rid of the heating appliances
If you want to reduce your electricity expenditure during winter you will have to give up some of your creature comforts, that heater or electric blanket will have to be put away this season. These items tend to become black holes during the winter season, being left on throughout the day and driving your electricity bill through the roof in the process.
7. Turn down your geyser temperature
Geysers are responsible for a huge portion of your electricity bill. Turning down the temperature will reduce your electricity bill. Turn off your geyser at the isolation switch, remove the electrical components cover and adjust the thermostat to about 55 degrees Celsius.
You will still have hot water for baths, showers and washing dishes, but you will just have to dilute it with less cold water.
Alternatively, if you don’t see yourself going through all that drama you could have an electronic timer installed to switch the geyser on and off at set times or look at installing a solar geyser.
8. Winterproof from the outside in
Clear your gutters of any debris so that water can flow freely off the roof and make sure you cut down any low-hanging and loose branches so that strong winds don’t cause them to hit and damage your home’s exterior, leaving it vulnerable to the cold.
Prevention is better than cure so make sure any weaknesses in your home is addressed as soon as possible. Strong winds can also rip off roof tiles, so make sure all your roof tiles are securely fastened.
9. Pool maintenance
Lastly for those who do own a pool you probably won’t get much use out of it during this time of the year. So the smart thing to do would be to cover your pool to prevent water loss while it’s not in use and keep filtering it once a day during winter. There’s no need to continuously run your pool pump.
Manage your debt effectively
If you still need help with your savings and you’re feeling overwhelmed by your current financial situation, feel free to contact us. To Speak to one our consultants about debt review contact us here.
For more tips on how to reduce you save on your household expenses check out the following articles