10 ways to save money this autumn
4 MIN READ
Autumn is a good time to start cutting costs and saving money before you start your Christmas spending. Here are 10 ways to save money this autumn.
1. Compare energy providers to cut your energy bill
The nights are drawing in, the temperatures are dropping and the central heating is back on.
Now is the time to visit an online price comparison site, get some quotes and check whether you can save money on your gas and electricity this autumn.
Some energy companies provide discounts to new customers for the first 12 months so remember that your bills may rise again next autumn.
Make a note on your calendar to review energy providers again next year.
2. Reduce energy to save money this autumn
A good way to save your money is to simply use less gas, electricity or oil in the first place.
Here are 4 quick ways to ways to cut your energy bills:
- Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree
- Swap out any remaining fluorescent lightbulbs for lower energy LED lights
- Use the lowest, effective temperature for on your washing machine for each wash
- Turn home devices off completely instead of leaving them on ‘standby’.
Consider making your home more energy efficient by insulating it effectively, upgrading heating controls and investing in green energy sources such as solar panels and solar water heating.
Grants towards upgrading your home to a BER A rating are available from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland*.
3. Check that your car is ready for winter
Winter can be tough on your car.
To reduce the chances of a costly breakdown, make sure that it is in good condition.
Here are 5 things to check before winter:
- Make sure that your tyres are at the right pressure and replace any that have less than 1.7mm of tread left
- Top up your windscreen wiper reservoir and check your wiper blades to make sure you can clean your screen properly in a downpour
- On average, the AA estimates* that most modern batteries last about 5 years so, if yours is getting long in the tooth, get it checked
- Check all your bulbs and replace any that are no longer working
- If your NCT was extended due to Covid-19, make sure you rebook it.
And if you’re thinking of buying a car, this autumn, you may want to check out the full cost to buy and run a car, beforehand.
4. Get insurance quotes before you renew
Winter is the time of icy roads, frozen pipes and damage to homes by storms.
If your home or car insurance is coming up for renewal, this autumn, make sure to get a range of quotes at least a month beforehand.
You might be able to cut your costs and save money so don’t just renew with your existing provider.
If you get a good deal elsewhere, you can always go back to your current insurer to see if they will match or better it.
5. Stay active for less
Many of us took up exercise during the spring and summer.
It can be tough to carry on when it gets darker and colder.
But there are still plenty of online alternatives for the winter months without going to the expense of a gym.
Many fitness experts – from Joe Wicks the Body Coach to Adriene Mishler’s Yoga with Adriene, for example – now offer free workout channels on YouTube.
And, if you’re a fan of podcasts, ‘Real Health’ with Karl Henry tells you what you need to do to live healthier every day.
Save money this autumn by staying active and healthy at home for free.
6. Cut back on unused entertainment subscriptions
Many more of us have opted to subscribe to online entertainment packages since Covid-19.
But subscriptions can add up.
If you’ve seen all your favourite TV shows, movies and documentaries and find yourself endlessly scrolling in search of something to watch, now’s the time to consider unsubscribing.
Go through your subscriptions and cancel any you haven’t used in a while.
You can always subscribe again when something good comes along.
7. Start saving money for Christmas now to spread the cost
We all know that Christmas can be expensive.
In its ‘2019 Christmas Retail Monitor*’, Retail Ireland predicted that Irish households would spend, on average, €940 more in December than any other month of the year.
The sooner you work out a budget for Christmas and start saving for the presents, decorations and celebrations the less you’re likely to have to use expensive credit to pay for them.
So, whether you join a Christmas club, set up a standing order to save money to a savings account, buy gift cards or simply stash money in an envelope, start saving this autumn.
Here are some tips to help make Christmas more affordable
8. Get your boiler serviced to avoid costly repair bills
Nobody wants their heating to break down during the coldest time of the year and be landed with a large, unexpected bill.
If you haven’t had your boiler serviced for a few years then consider spending on a service from a reputable engineer now to avoid a big repair bill later.
And if you haven’t got a rainy day fund to help pay for life’s little emergencies, start one, today.
Saving just a euro a day for a year will build up a fund of €365 which should be enough to pay for the most common unexpected bills.
9. Learn to spot scams
Scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated but most follow the same pattern – a call, email or text out of the blue, a demand that you act quickly and a request that you share your security details.
Check out Bank of Ireland’s Security Zone for how to spot the latest fraudster tactics and find out how to stay safe.
10. Create a budget and stick to it
If you don’t already have a budget for everyday spending then start by working out exactly how much money you have coming in each month and what you spend it on.
Consider using the 50-30-20 rule which divides your spending up in needs, wants and savings.
It suggests that spending on your needs – the essentials such as rent or mortgage, food, light, heat, transport, medicines – shouldn’t be more than 50% of your take-home income.
You should try to spend no more than 30% of your income on wants – the inessentials such as entertainment, fashion, technology – basically all the fun stuff.
And that you should aim to save 20% of your income which includes pension contributions.
Work out how much you currently spend on needs, wants and savings and try to bring them into line with the 50-30-20 rule over the next few months.
Find out more
Take our 2-minute financial health check to find out what shape your finances are in.
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