There are times in our lives when we should think hard about saving money to prepare for the future. This can be because we know that there will be expenses that we will need money for, perhaps buying a new car, saving up for a mortgage deposit or starting a family. However, many of us do not think about the smaller things which might also mean that we struggle financially. It can be wise to have a think about these things as well as it may mean that we will be able to avoid borrowing money unnecessarily as a result. One of these things could be to save up for the winter.
Why the importance of saving for the winter?
In the winter we often have more expenses that perhaps at other times of the year. There are many reasons why we might spend more. Firstly, as it is colder in the winter, we will spend more money on heating. This can make a huge difference to our fuel bills. We may also use the lights more and be more likely to have hot meals and oven cooked food and so all of these things will add to it as well.
If we celebrate Christmas or other holidays at this time of year, then there may be gifts to buy. We also tend to either eat more food or buy more luxurious food and drink which means that we have to find money to pay for this. We may also travel to see people more and may even buy new clothes for parties or outings.
With the weather being colder and wetter we will tend to use the car or public transport more often when travelling. It is not so attractive to cycle or walk to places when it is like this. This means that we might be paying out more of fuel as well as wear and tear on the car, if we are driving more.
All of these extra costs mean that it is a time when we are likely to spend more money and therefore saving up for this time could be wise. It will mean that we will have some extra money to fall back on if we need it and that will allow us to avoid having to worry so much about how we will pay for everything.
How to save up
Saving for winter will need to take place before winter comes. This means that we will need to start thinking about it early. The very best plan would be to start as soon as winter is over so that you have all of spring, summer and autumn to save up money.
It can be wise to calculate exactly how much money you will need for this time. This could mean that you will need to add up how much that extra spending might come to. If you have previous bank records then you may be able to calculate how much this will be. Otherwise, you might be able to make a good estimate by thinking about what you need to buy and how much it might all cost. You could look at past utility bills or online records to see how much extra you spent and also think about how much you spend at Christmas. You might know roughly who you buy things for and how much you spend on each and then if you add in extra for wrapping, postage and cards, you will be able to work out exactly how much you will need to put by.
Once you have a total, it could be worth dividing it by the number of months you are saving for. Then you will be able to know how much you need to aim to save up each month.
Where to find the money
If you do not have a lot of spare money each month then it can be difficult to work out how you will manage to save this extra money. It will be worth it though as you will need to find the money eventually, even if you borrow it and repay it later. There are basically two things that you can do to get more money. One is that you can spend less money and the other is to earn more. It might be that you will be able to do a combination of these to have a bigger impact. It can feel hard to do either of these but they may not be as tricky as you think. Try comparing prices and make sure you are paying out more than necessary, go without a few things that you do not need and do not bring you loads of pleasure, see if you can pick up a bit of freelance work some online work or something like that. There are lots of opportunities to try out things that might help. It can actually be fun to change things about, do something different and have the satisfaction of knowing that you have the money that you need well in advance of the winter.