With summer fast approaching and holidays on the horizon, we are all getting ready to dip into the coffers to enjoy these balmy upcoming months. Summer can be an extremely expensive time so here at Car Cash Point we'd like to provide you with a few little tips to get the most out of your finances in the upcoming months.
1. Cook Outdoors
For those with a gas BBQ, it can often be more energy-efficient to use this grill as indoor ovens take longer to preheat. So during the summer months, consider firing up the bbq on weeknights as well as sunny weekends. What's more, cooking outdoors means you avoid making a warm house even warmer.
2. Suspend (or Cancel) Your Gym Membership
It can often be hard to work up the energy to exercise outside before or after work on those cold, dark winter evenings. The summer is ideal, however, to get outside for a walk, run, hike or cycle. Many gym memberships offer the ability to temporarily pause your membership, so now is a great time to temporarily opt for nature's free gym. Who knows, you might find it rewarding enough to cancel your gym membership for good!
3. Close Your Windows
When it's hot outside, the temptation is to throw open every window and door in the hopes of cooling down the home. But this can often be counter-intuitive - often we're simply letting the warmer outside air in! When it's cooler inside than out, keep windows closed to avoid letting the warm air in, and open them in the evenings to help cool the house down.
4. Take a Staycation
From the turquoise seas of Cornwall to the wild mountains of Scotland - there are so many holiday options in the UK that don't require the additional hefty costs of flights. And if you just go for day trips, then you can save even more by not paying out for hotels! Make sure to treat your staycation as you would a normal holiday, try researching your local areas and create an itinerary for your trip. Consult guide books and websites to find hidden gems in your area that you didn't even know existed. If the urge to go abroad is just too irresistible, then check out our Top 5 Affordable European Holiday Destinations This Spring.
5. Weatherproof Your Home
Leaky doors and windows can lead to long term damage and inefficient air cooling, attention to these things will not only save money in the summer but also best prepare your home for the cold of the winter. Checking for these things yourself may seem daunting to weatherproofing newcomers this article on How to completely weatherproof and waterproof your house may help you get started on standard checks and tests.
6. Replace Old Windows
In tandem with the previous point, old windows may look sturdy and protective but many have lost their inner integrity and are not performing optimally, once again we suggest checking just to be sure that the energy is staying in the house, and your hard-earned money isn't leaking through the cracks.
7. Turn Off Electrical Items When Not In Use
This may seem like a hassle, but becomes very easy, and perhaps even therapeutic with just a little practice, we recommend starting small, just ensuring that one room is turned off when you leave it, and then graduating room by room through your home.
Over a day, the saving will be minimal, but over time, especially in homes with multiple technology sources, this saving will ramp up to something much more significant, and all at the same time as doing our little bit to save the planet!!
8. Pause Your Streaming Services
During the summer months, many of us are spending a lot more time outside and less time in front of the tv in the evenings and weekends. If you're finding the same, then consider whether you're wasting money on any streaming services that you aren't actually watching at the moment. It can often simply be a case of pausing for a few months, knowing that you have a host of tv shows to sit through in the winter when you're more inclined to snuggle up on the sofa.
9. Unplug Your Devices
By unplugging any devices that aren't in use, you're doubling your potential saving costs. Firstly, you're eliminating many of these so-called 'energy vampires' that suck small amounts of energy despite being seemingly inactive, which adds up over time. The benefit in the summer is that you're reducing the number of appliances that are causing any unnecessary heat in the house while they're on standby. And speaking of warm appliances - remember to keep plenty of ventilation behind your fridges and freezers that are working overtime in the warm months.
10. Replace Your Air Conditioning Filters
For those lucky enough to have their own air conditioning in the UK, a fact that often gets overlooked is that the A/C air filters actually need to be frequently changed in order to maintain optimal efficiency. This means that the Air Conditioner is working harder than it should and thus using more energy than required. The filter may need a change after just a month in the hottest climates, but often between 45 and 90 days is perfectly ok in British homes.
11. Switch Your Energy Supplier
In the UK, we often assume that we when we move to an area, we are stuck with that particular energy setup, but this is not the case. If you find yourself using more energy this summer, then a little research and maybe a phone call or two could save you hundreds just by switching.
Those that do know a little about switching often go for the 'duel fuel' packages that offer easy transition, and instant saving and often offer additional 'sweeteners' such as vouchers or free gifts. Though it seems a given that you would approach a gas company for gas and an electric company for electric - is this actually as a simple decision as it seems? Well, that depends!
In many areas, it is actually the best choice in purely monetary terms to opt for a gas company for your electric needs and an electric company for gas. The reason for this is the offers these providers place on their non- specialism - it's an enticement that if carefully played can save in excess of £300 per year in larger homes. It's certainly worth a little investigation to find out!