For a lot of us, the lead up to Christmas can be a stressful time. It’s not uncommon, especially if the year before has been challenging. There’s always the need to make Christmas special for loved ones, but this can lead to the financial pressure to spend beyond our means which can impact our mental health. With many people likely to get themselves in debt over Christmas, it begs to question how we can find the balance between financial stability and our mental wellbeing. Indeed, a lot of people can feel more anxious about not being able to afford Christmas, and this can leave a lot of people considering payday loans UK. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Taking control of finances and taking time to manage money can mean a much less stressful season. Prepare Your Home With the energy costs and the costs of living rising, it’s imperative that we take steps to save money where we can this winter. There are ways that we can reduce heat loss and work on keeping our homes warm and cosy in the colder months, from making sure your heating system is working efficiently, to sealing your windows and getting rid of any drafts. Thermostats and programmers are useful tools when it comes to saving money on your heating bills. These controls allow you to set your heating to a timer so it can turn on to different temperatures for different times of the day. It means you don’t have to think about turning your heating off manually, which is handy if you forget or you’re running late. This means you run less of a risk of wasting energy by heating an empty house or leaving the heating running during the night when you don’t really need it. Lowering your thermostat is obviously the easiest way to lower your electricity costs in the winter. More involved ways include insulating your windows and doors. Most experts agree that the cost does repay itself quickly. Pay Less for Winter Clothing It goes without saying that if you have more than one child of the same sex, items such as winter coats should be handed down from one child to the next. The same is true for the extended family – children’s coats are relatively costly, and they only wear them for a few months before outgrowing them. It just doesn’t make sense to buy new if you can avoid it. If you must buy a new winter coat for one of your kids, try to remember to purchase it at the end of the winter season in anticipation for next year. If you didn’t get a chance to buy off-season, you can still take advantage of winter sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Track your spending to improve your finances. If you don’t know what and where you’re spending each month, there’s a good chance your personal spending habits have room for improvement. In Winter, there is Christmas shopping to think about and plenty of socialising. Better money management starts with being more aware of your spending habits. You can use money management apps that let you track spending across the month in categories. For example, it lets you see how much money you’ve spent of groceries, eating out, entertainment etc. Once you’ve educated yourself on these habits, you can create an action plan to budget and improve it.
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