Am I the only one that has noticed how incredibly morbid morale has become across the nation!?
To be fair who can blame us when this week I have read posts and articles about cost of food and petrol prices going up, parents raiding their kids piggy banks to pay bills. I’m also sure I can speak for most of us when I say during this demoralising time we have either had a nasty cold or bug that has caused some of us to take time off work and feel sorry for ourselves for a few days or you can feel one coming on.
Oh and lets not forget the big looming elephant that strikes a cold perspiring fear in the heart of any frugal saver….CHRISTMAS! Yes that’s right, I said the dirty word that no one wants to talk about because, lets face it, it’s far too early and yet we are starting to see all the warning signs that our expensive friend is looming in the shadows once again.
Unfortunately with the disappearance of summer (albeit a very short summer!) we tend to slip into a state of mourning and become very deflated knowing that winter is on it’s way, bills are going to go up and the expensive holidays are on the horizon Throw a cold and some terrible weather in there and suddenly any bad news we read feels like another nail in the financial coffin.
Cheer up folks! This stage passes, it always does! It is a natural adjustment that happens every year and we should face these demons head on and plan the next few months so we can enjoy winter.
Plan, plan, plan
- You can buy reflector boards to put behind your radiators to reflect the heat away from the wall and back into the room. Or you can make your own by covering a board with foil this will help keep the heat in and bills down.
- Draft excluders, always great for keeping the heat in and the drafts out. These are also very easy to make if you don’t want to buy them.
- Loft and wall insulation. The majority of your heat can escape through your roof and walls so make sure you have adequate insulation to keep the heat in. Most DIY shops do rolls of insulation very cheaply for the loft and although having your wall cavities insulated by a professional will have a cost, the amount you save on bills in the future will be worth the trouble.
- Turn the Thermostat down! I am still completely miffed by people who get a little heat-happy in the winter and have their home simmering at a roasty 35 degrees! It is not necessary and quite costly. By all means make sure your house is comfortable, but if you are wandering around in some of your summer clobber it’s probably safe to say your thermostat is too high and costing you more money. Lowering the temperature by just a few degrees can save you quite a bit in the long run.
- To beat the rise in prices, start cooking and freezing large batches of meals. You can freeze bolognaise, chilli, curry, casseroles, stews along with many other dishes. If you do this in advance and fill up the freezer you will have a large supply of meals before prices for produce become too high.
- Wear several thin layers as opposed to thick layers of clothes, they keep the heat in more efficiently and will be a little more comfortable.
- Stop ignoring Christmas, and don’t get angry when you see an advert pop up somewhere about it. Yes it’s early, but if you have a positive outlook you would see it as an alarm bell to either start putting some money away for the inevitable or to start searching for those bargains maybe start shopping now to breakdown the overall cost across a few months. Don’t get sucked into emergency credit cards, overdrafts or last minute expensive buying – Be Prepared!
- Make sure your car is ready for the harsher weather, get it serviced, keep your tires pumped up and make sure the tread is sufficient. Also keep de-icer and ice-scraper these can help save time and valuable pennies during the winter.
Now to remind you of why I love this time of year.
- The display of ridiculous head-wear to keep us warm always amuses me every year. Some days I simply must join in with this fiasco of over-sized bobbles, knitted tea-cosies and animal themed beanies.
- It’s now socially acceptable to ask for hot chocolate instead of coffee in coffee shops and cafes while maintaining a level of cool maturity as you ask for more marshmallows!
- None of you like to admit but it feels good to give this time of year, charities, family and friends, despite how scrooge-like we portray ourselves to be we all get warm fuzzies when giving to others. We just can’t resist a good opportunity to have a moan about it!
- Ok, this one is childish, but I love the stir of excitement when we think it may or may not snow! Not to mention the stark panic of all Londoners when it finally does! Pure entertainment!
- It’s this time of year that makes us feel good about staying in with friends and a bottle of wine – all those days/nights out in the summer can be a little harsh on the pocket. So start making arrangements and enjoy those movie and take-out nights with friends at home.
- When we aren’t rushing around and stressing about the usual. Take a walk through a local park, it is the only time of year that it will look this colourful and given how random our weather can be, it’s a safe bet it wont last long. So enjoy it while you can.
So I’m wishing you all a wonderful autumn! :-) All ridiculous hats are subject to availability, but can be found in most retail shops near you.