I was very interested to see Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert on GMTV this morning, especially as his slot was going to be about getting through January for those that are monthly paid and were paid early before Xmas, meaning that they may have to make Decembers salary last for a very long six weeks.
I was then very dissapointed when he said "don't spend money you don't have" "don't go out, do your supermarket shop and come home and watch t.v. each evening". So not much there that we didn't already know about then! I don't know what I was expecting really, everything he says is common sense that most of us already know but often need to hear it from others and as much as we may be doing what he suggests, there are always unexpected expenses.
This is a complete Bummer if you are broke, but on the upside, you can usually manage to buy something in the sales and save up to 50% or more on whatever you decide to buy. Do speak to the Birthday Girl/Boy as often we sit and panic and wonder what on earth we can buy when people have just received Christmas Gifts, but you would be surprised. This year my husband got no slippers or aftershave and I only got one pair of pyjamas but need more, so do pick a few brains to see if any specific items would be gratefully received.
This cold snap will be causing all kinds of difficulties for people who have key meters to pay for their Gas and Electric, whereas people who pay their bills quarterly or by direct debit won't see the effects as instantly, although could still struggle to pay their next bill or have their Direct Debits increased because of this. No matter what method of payment you use, it still makes sense to try and use as little as possible and the best way to do this is as follows:-
1. If you are out at work all day do set your timer for heating. Half hour before you get up and then off when you leave and half an hour before you are due home and off again at bedtime.
2. If you have rooms that are not used i.e. spare bedrooms or dining rooms etc, either turn the radiators off or down very low and keep the doors shut.
3. Take showers instead of baths.
4. Tin Foil behind radiators does effectively, reflect heat back into the room.
5. Treat draughts with Draught excluder or if on a tight budget, put curtains up over doors and use old towels at the bottom, anything to keep the warmth in.
6. Do advise old folk to go to bed in socks and even a hat. Don't forget the hot water bottle either! Lots of old people are afraid to heat their homes, even those that can afford it.
7. Cut the cost of de-icer on your windscreen by laying an old towel or pieces of cardboard/newspaper, over the screen at night.
Any other ideas you may have to help us get through January, please leave a comment!