Skip to content

Guest Blog: How to Beat the Winter Blues by Reducing Living Costs

By Joseph Gurvits, founder and managing director of Y&Y Management

Rising fuel costs, soaring taxes, a pre-Christmas interest rate hike and the highest headline rate of inflation in a decade – the UK is facing a cost-of-living crisis. Ongoing hikes in household bills and knock-on effects from inflation are proving to be a major concern for households across the country this winter. To help the millions of UK renters and homeowners feeling the pinch, we’ve put together some tips on how to combat any huge costs throughout the next couple of months.

What are the increased costs?

The Bank of England recently announced a pre-Christmas interest rate hike from 0.1% to 0.25%, after figures released showed a much larger than expected leap in inflation to 5.1% in November – the highest inflation rate in a decade. Although the Bank is tasked with keeping annual inflation at 2%, it has been above that for six of the last seven months and continues to increase.

With higher interest rates pushing up the cost of borrowing, and no relief in the form of lower inflation, UK households are feeling the impact. Additionally, the interest rate hike will force huge squeezes on mortgage holders – it is likely be the beginning of the end of an era of record-low interest rates.

On top of this, cost of fuel and energy are far higher than a year ago with the Consumer Council saying annual bills of a typical household were set to rise by about £268 a year!

So, what can we do to make the winter months more comfortable?

With mortgage owners facing higher payments and renters having little control over the energy efficiencies of their homes, many are understandably feeling worried about the effects of these rising costs. However, there are some small changes that can add up when it comes to cutting growing bills during the colder months of the year.

Dial back the thermostat: According to the Energy Saving Trust, reducing the temperature of your home by just 1C could save you £55 per year. Turning off the radiator in empty rooms will also help decrease costs, so you’re only using the heat that you need, when you need it.

Lower temperatures and fuller machines: Changes in how you use your washing machine and dishwasher can help too. Washing your laundry at a cooler temperature and only running the washing machine or dishwasher when they’re completely full will help to decrease energy costs during a hard winter.

Make the most of the sun: Finally, make the most of the daylight hours by leaving your blinds or curtains open as long as possible during the day. This will help utilise the sun’s heat and natural light, so you can turn off lights and turn down the thermostat during the day to save on both electric and heating bills.

How landlords can help

Landlords and homeowners can make bigger changes to increase the energy efficiency of their homes too, not only helping their tenants but also adding to the future value of their homes.

Changes such as installing better insulation, having drafts filled in, upgrading boilers, and installing double glazing or smart metres can all help improve properties. While they may require more up-front costs in the short term, they will help decrease household bills for years to come.