Spending Trends In Winter

In the UK, winter is fast approaching. The clocks have now gone back, which means shorter days, darker evenings and indicates a drop in the temperature. Here at Wizzcash, we recently wrote about how much we spend in the summer, which could leave consumers a little cash-strapped in autumn and winter. This could mean more people reaching for payday loans or other boosts for their finances.

It is quite well established, that the typical person or household has more financial demands in the winter than in the summer. By financial demands, we mean more high-priority outgoings. Coupled with a festive frivolity, it is expected that 7.9 million people are likely to be behind with their finances in the new year. We are looking at the financial demands placed on us throughout the winter months to determine just where your money could be going.

Holidays

Reports from Halifax bank indicate that Brits spend almost £900, on average, for holidays in the winter. The draw for a holiday is obvious, particularly when the weather is bleak at home. Many choose to enjoy the British summertime whilst it’s here and opt to get away in the winter months; 29% of adults are expected to experience symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which can mimic the feelings of depression, due to a lack of serotonin and the happy hormones that the sun helps to induce. This could leave many people looking for some much-needed Vitamin D from the sun in warmer climates. 37% of people said they go abroad simply to seek the sun, which is supported by the mere 11% of people who enjoy winter holidays to take part in sports like skiing or snowboarding. The demographic most likely to spend on seeking winter sun were over 55s, rising the average to £969 spent on finding winter sun for their age group.

A winter break could give you something to look forward to, whether at home or abroad, which could help to lift your mood and avoid the winter blues. Booking a winter break is exciting but should be treated as a luxury, not a necessity, as this attitude could push you into an overdraft or force you to rely on credit unnecessarily. Ultimately, this could affect your financial security but you should also ensure you are properly caring for your emotional and mental health on a long-term basis, rather than looking for expensive and temporary quick-fixes.

If you believe you do suffer from SAD, it might be better to invest in lifestyle changes and you could consider speaking to your GP. Measures can then be taken to help prevent the feelings of sadness caused by the lack of sunlight, which in turn could prevent financial stress by chasing the sun.

Nights Out

Reports that focused on Christmastime spending highlight that the average person will spend £151 on food and drink in December and a further £66 on socialising.

Studies have reported that Brits spend approximately £69 on a night out. This number has steadily increased over time, however the interesting thing to note is the spike in spending at nightclubs during the Q4 of each year. In the winter months, there is a clear increase in the average spend on nights out, whilst 58.1% of consumers are said to be going out once a week, which suggest the average Brit will need to be accommodating an additional £69 into their weekly budget. As winter comes in, our options for night life and entertainment start to feel a little more limited to night clubs or dining out simply because of the weather. We have already looked at the cost of a night out and how much we spend on eating out. However, we could also opt for bigger, more expensive nights out because of a winter mentality of indulgence and frivolity, particularly throughout Christmas. Bank of England reports that alcohol sales throughout the Christmas period increased by 30%. This might not be healthy for ourselves or our bank accounts, and could be one of the habits to look at if consumers are looking to prepare their finances for a good start in the new year.

Household Bills

It’s well known that household bills hit a peak during the colder months. Reports show that we turn the heating on in the middle of October, after weeks of resisting as an attempt to avoid high energy bills. Now that the clocks have turned back, it is now likely to be dark when most Brits get home from work. This means we depend on our household electricals and boiler more than other periods of the year. The energy market’s regulator, Ofgem, highlight that the average fuel tariff (gas and electricity) is £1254 per year per household, yet the cheapest available is approximately £880 per year. Moreover, energy bills are expected to spike even more as they rose 3.1% in 2018 in comparison the year before.

Consumers could consider switching energy supplier or tariff. This could help lock in a fixed rate expenditure. You might not benefit from low-cost energy bills in the summer, but you could enjoy better financial planning as you know the amount your bill is going to be every month, allowing you to budget accordingly.

Unsuspected Costs

The winter brings more unexpected costs than the summer, which can cause many homeowners concern and stress. A survey by HomeServe highlights these as the top 6 unexpected costs that people are worried about this winter (of those polled):

  • 36% – Boiler Breakdowns
  • 32% – Car Breakdowns
  • 27% – Frozen or burst pipes
  • 23% – Appliance Breakdowns
  • 21% – Plumbing problems
  • 18% – Storm damage

Millions of homeowners are expected to have experienced at least one of these unexpected costs in the winter, with almost a third of those experiencing problems with the financial demand for the necessary repairs (29%). It is impossible to resolutely prevent unexpected costs, but with 2019 set to be a bitterly cold winter, homeowners might consider making home improvements or security checks to avoid or prepare for these emergencies wherever possible. It might be the case that small habits or routines, like running warm water at regular intervals which could prevent a burst pipe, could save you money. You could find out more about these practices simply by researching them.

If you do experience a financial emergency as a result of storm damage or adverse winter weather, Wizzcash are a payday loan direct lender. A short term loan can be used to cover the costs of your financial emergency until your next cheque comes in. If approved, your money could be with you within one working day. Please note, that a payday loan is a means of emergency funding and should not be used as regular credit.