As the nights draw in and the weather starts to feel distinctly wintry, bills tend to rise and your wallet takes a pounding, so I've put together a few top tips to make Autumn/Winter 2014 your least expensive one yet.
Get Restaurant savvy
Just because you are trying to cut back, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, and on a long gloomy night there can sometimes be nothing nicer than getting out and meeting friends for a nice meal out.
Websites like OpenTable and LastMinute always have half price offers with bargains to be had all over the UK. It's also worth keeping an eye on Groupon - even the swankiest restaurants become affordable when it's 70% off!
And don’t forget, you can still continue to save once you are there; don’t be embarrassed to ask for tap water, instead of still water, and go with the house wine, not the more pricey one your waiter is pushing you to order.
Also check the bill when you get it, nowadays many restaurants include the service charge in the bill, which you can opt to alter, and don’t feel you have to tip more on top of this.
Shut your curtains
It may sound odd, but as soon as dusk falls draw your curtains tight, not only will it stop nosey parkers snooping in, but it will also help trap all the heat that has come in during the day.
Now all we need is a sunny winter!
Use a comparison site like The Eco Experts to see if your house is suitable for solar panels or other energy saving devices like a biomass boiler.
A typical household can make up to £657 a year through government pay-outs and energy bill savings, that’s a nice sum to spend with the grandchildren!
You will also save money on your bills by turning your thermostat just one degree.
Clear your credit card
You’ve probably been told this a thousand times before, but always address your credit cards. A typical credit card has an APR of 18.9%, that is potentially a huge amount to be paying. Instead, take out an interest free loan or credit card and pay of your existing debt with that, keep swapping and switching until
Say goodbye to an old friend
Your landline may have been through thick and thin with you, but with ludicrously cheap mobile deals, do you still need to be forking out for a home phone bill every month as well?
If you don’t really use the internet that much, or have a good package with your mobile, or free internet use at a local library, then there really is no point to pay a telecoms company.
Supplement your income online
Answer surveys and polls, take up money-saving cash offers, and complete writing jobs for extra cash with Vivatic. Our most active members earn £100s each month - not bad for something you can do in your spare time whilst watching TV or cooking dinner!
Shun the supermarket (sometimes!)
Yes they are convenient, but when an avocado is £1.75 in a local supermarket, or 49p at the market, there really is no comparison.
However, when it comes to items like washing powder and loo roll, supermarkets can really come into their own, so learn to shop around. If you have grandchildren you can always turn this into a fun game with the one who gets the best bargains ‘winning’.
But most of all…
Budget! This is the final and most important tip. If you plan how you are going to spend your time and money, you shouldn't come up against any unexpected expenses. Of course, it is always wise, if possible to have a small amount of money stashed away, just in case.
I hope these tips will help you cut your spending this winter (if only so you can spend more on your Christmas presents or skiing holiday)!
If you have any tips of your own, do share them with us so other VivAddicts can take advantage and save themselves money.
Have a great weekend.
Over and out.