During summer there can be many temptations to spend more than you're mean to – Christmas gifts, summer holidays, days out with friends and family enjoying the weather.
Winter, on the other hand, can be perfect for saving. While you’re wrapped up warm inside, it can be much easier to put money away and work toward your long-term financial goals. To get you started, we’ve come up with 14 winter savings tips that really work.
1. Try online grocery shopping
Supermarkets are designed to make you spend more and buy on impulse, with labyrinth-like layouts and strategically-placed specials.
Instead of braving the cold weather, try shopping online and either getting your groceries delivered or using click and collect. It’s easier to buy only what you need when you’re not walking down the aisles and it can make meal-planning easier too.
2. Try DIY workouts
It’s important to get your body moving during winter, for both your physical and mental health. However, the recurring cost of a gym membership can add up and might not suit everyone.
Instead, you could try working out at home or in local parks using one of many free exercise apps on Google Play or the App Store.
3. Limit online impulse buys
In January 2021 alone, Australians spent over $2.7 billion on online shopping1. While it can be easy to give in to the temptation of picking up a bargain when stuck at home, seemingly small purchases can total a surprising amount. Consider setting yourself a maximum online spend per pay week to make sure you don’t blow your budget.
4. Look for coupons or vouchers
Next time you buy something online, take a minute to check the retailer’s website to see if they offer discounts for your first purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
5. Improve your insulation
Heating an uninsulated home is a bit like filling a leaky bucket with water - you may retain some heat, but a significant amount will likely be lost through your ceilings, walls, and floors. If you own your home, investing in insulating your home could save you more on heating over the long term.
6. Add a rug
If your home has wooden or concrete floors, cold air may rise up through the cracks and cause a chill. Laying a thick rug in the area where you spend most of your time can be a great way to reduce these draughts.
7. Check the insulation on your hot water cylinder
Heating water accounts for approximately 25% of household energy2 use in Australia. If you have a gas or electric storage hot water system, if you can, ensuring that the cylinder is well-insulated could help you significantly cut your water-heating costs.
8. Choose efficient heating
Space heating and cooling take an even bigger chunk of the average household bill than water heating - 40%, according to Energy.gov.au3. To cut this cost down, consider looking for a heater that has a five or six-star energy rating.
9. Try the timer
If you’ve ever accidentally left your split system on overnight, using the timer function could be a good idea. Setting the timer to turn on when you wake up in the morning, and off during the warmest time of day will help you use less power while still staying cozy all day.
10. Keep your home between 17 and 20°
The higher you set your air conditioner’s thermostat, the more energy it will consume and the more it will cost. During winter, setting your thermostat to between 17°C and 20°C4 is usually the most efficient and could save you money.
11. Close and open your curtains at the right times
Up to 40% of your home’s heat can be lost through windows5. Closing your curtains when the sun goes down and opening them to let the light in is a great way to decrease that percentage and keep the warmth in without spending a dollar.
12. Shop around for better utility providers
During winter, your utility bills may be a little higher than usual so there’s no better time to shop around to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Many providers may offer different sign-up incentives or lower rates to new customers, so taking the time to compare your internet and energy bills could save you hundreds of dollars.
13. Pay yourself first
Instead of saving what’s left at the end of your pay cycle, consider putting your savings aside as soon as you get paid and spending what’s left. This small change can have the power to transform your attitude toward saving and can make it easier to regularly put money aside every time you’re paid. To make it even easier, consider automating your savings by setting an automatic transfer every payday into a savings account.
14. Put your money to work for you
For many dedicated savers, having a purpose-built account like the Qudos Bank Bonus Saver can be helpful to reach their savings goals. Open an account online and you’ll automatically earn a base rate on all balances and an additional bonus rate if you make no withdrawals in any calendar month.
That extra interest incentive can be a great reason to avoid dipping into your savings so you can continue to watch it grow through the winter and beyond!
Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.
Before opening an account with us, you should read our Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and Payment Services and our Financial Services Guide.
Published August 2021