Many people find winter a very stressful time of year. Christmas presents need buying for increasing numbers of people – family, friends, colleagues – and many people find the additional stress of spending time with distant relatives a cause for spending more than planned. Sticking to a budget can feel impossible during the winter months. Even supermarkets seem to increase their prices in the run up to the festive season, as well as the mark up on gifts and items which could possibly be perceived as a useful Christmas present. A little financial planning to avoid some of the most common expenses can help to leave money spare for those things we don’t mind splashing out on.
There are some winter expenses which can be predicted, if not necessarily fully planned for. In winter, it is more likely that the car will fail. Some parts of the mechanism are less responsive in cold weather, leading to breakdowns and expensive repair bills. When a car is forced to move from sub-zero temperatures during frosts and then to quickly reach normal operating temperatures, this can put considerable strain on components. Before the weather turns truly harsh, check all hoses for signs of wear. The change in heat can cause these to blow, but changing them before that happens is much more cost effective than dealing with it once the car has broken down. It is also important to check and change windscreen wiper blades, and to consider coating the windscreen in a water repellent film or solution which can help prevent ice.
Warm clothing for winter is also often seen as a necessity each year, when this is perhaps not strictly true. Taking a few steps to make the whole wardrobe work in each season can be a great money saving measure. There is no real reason to continually reinvest in seasonal clothing. Well-chosen pieces can be found that are appropriate in all weathers when combined properly will ultimately be more financially sensible. Layering is always a key autumn/winter trend, meaning that combining items to create warmth will also usually be fashion conscious as well!
In the holiday season, giving presents can also be a strain on resources. One way to manage this is to plan throughout the year. Popular toys often go on promotion in summer, or items are seen which remind people of each other and can be bought well in advance of December. Spreading the cost over more than one month can seriously help with financial planning in winter. Avoid buckling into the pressure of getting a payday loan. Even other finance companies, such as Sky Loans - a homeowner loan provider, advise against taking out these expensive forms of finance. While they make the proposition sound attractive through catchy television advertising, you will almost certainly end up paying back a lot of money as soon as Christmas is over, leaving you starting the year in a bad financial situation.