Five ways to cut back this autumn

With summer fast fading and the colder months around the corner, if you want to avoid stress and save money, it’s time to start preparing.

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1. Are you overpaying for your gas and electricity?

The nights are drawing in, which means temperatures will soon plummet and you’ll rely on your central heating. Before you turn up your thermostat, check whether you’re getting the best deal. It’s not uncommon for energy companies to increase their prices, especially when demand is high, so it’s essential you shop around to make sure you’re not paying too much. Compare energy suppliers across England, Scotland and Wales and find a better energy deal

2. Is your car ready for winter?

Dark mornings and icy roads make for pretty dangerous driving conditions, so make sure your car is prepared for this precarious time of year. See if your local garage can provide a winter service, checking your car’s fluid levels, brakes and mechanical safety. It’s a good idea to do this before the weather starts to deteriorate, to ensure you’re not left stranded on a cold, foggy night.

Is your car insurance due for renewal? Auto-renewing with the same insurance company is often more expensive, so it’s worth shopping around and comparing prices from other companies, to see if you can find a better price. 

3. Dreading the cost of Christmas?

Believe it or not, Christmas is only around the corner. It can be a stressful time of year that fills many of us with dread – usually for financial reasons.

Christmas shopping is a major stress factor, so it’s a good idea to get organised early. Set a budget and spread the cost if you need to.

Spreading the cost with a 0% credit card could be a sensible choice if you’re struggling to afford the cost of Christmas all at once. A credit card deal gives you more breathing space, while a personal loan can provide a financial cushion during an expensive time of year. If you’re worried about being turned down, we’re here to help. Our Eligibility Checker shows you your chance of being accepted before you apply, so you can choose the option you’re most likely to get, without harming your credit score. 

If you’d rather not get into debt, and you’ve got some money saved up, you should make sure it’s working hard for you. You can compare savings accounts like instant access accounts, ISAs, and fixed rate bonds to find the best deal for you. Don’t forget to compare some high-interest current accounts too, as you could get a good deal as long as you can meet the criteria for the account.

4. Need to get away from it all?

Having something to look forward to is important, especially at this time of year, and planning a holiday is a great way to beat the winter blues. If you start looking at holiday deals for summer 2018 now, you’re likely to find a better deal because you’re looking so far in advance.

If you like the thought of putting your feet up for Christmas, and escaping the stress of cooking and entertaining, look out for some holiday deals to see what bargains you can get.

5. Is your home prepared?

The most important thing of all is the roof over your head. You’re likely to spend more time at home as the nights draw in, so make sure your home is warm, secure and prepared for the colder season

Make sure you check that:

  • Your boiler is serviced
  • Your windows and doors aren’t letting in any drafts
  • Your loft is properly insulated
  • You have enough wood ready if you have a fireplace
  • Your garden is trimmed for winter

Is your home insurance also due for renewal? Don’t forget to make sure your cover is up to date – especially with the cold weather around the corner, when there’s a higher chance of burst pipes and other winter-related damage.

Be the early bird

It may seem a bit early to start thinking about autumn and winter, but you could catch the best deals and save the most stress by preparing now. All it takes is a few minutes to save yourself money and sleepless nights.

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