Cold weather and reduced daylight can leave some people feeling a little flat in winter. Often the temptation is to splurge on new clothes, dinners out or even expensive holidays, but these activities can be dangerous to your bank balance, especially if you are paying off a mortgage. But there are plenty of ways to have a great time in winter without blowing your budget.
For starters, spend more time enjoying your home. Skip expensive restaurant meals by inviting friends around for dinner – you might even find they start returning the favour.
Get creative in the kitchen by making your lunch the night before. You'll save the money you would have spent buying lunch, and still keep those extra few precious minutes in bed on wintry mornings.
Cast a critical eye over last year's wardrobe. With thrift shopping all the rage you might find the best vintage look is already hanging in your closet, and you can always sell anything you really don't want online.
The colder weather might curtail your outdoor exercise regime, but you don't need to join a gym to stay in shape in winter. There are plenty of aerobics and strengthening exercises you can do at home, or take your running gear to work and hit the pavement at lunchtime.
You may also find it worthwhile talking to your gas, electricity and telephone providers and comparing rates to see if you can get a better deal
You'll find the extra money, including your tax return, can also be put to good use in paying off your mortgage. Pretend that interest rates are higher and make larger monthly repayments – you'll pay the loan off sooner, and be better placed to cope should rates eventually rise.
Your Mortgage Choice expert can help you with budgeting and ways to save. We can also ensure you are getting the best possible deal on your interest rate by performing a free Home Loan Health Check. You may also qualify for a package deal with a discounted interest rate over the life of the loan, which could save you thousands.