Yes, we know autumn has merely just begun, but if it’s anything like the last two years, the winter season is only mere weeks away – and we all painfully remember the difficulty it brought with it. Though the energy price cap has slightly been lowered to £1,923 a year for an average household since October 1st, it still means that an estimated 6.3 million British households will be below the fuel poverty line in the upcoming months. So, there is little wiggle room for a lot of us to begin with. And that is why your entire home might need some extra attention right now – as home maintenance during the colder months can be extra costly. How you can manage those expenses can not only impact your credit score but also make a tremendous difference in your overall well-being.
Create a Winter Maintenance Budget
Before winter even sets in, it’s incredibly helpful to create a detailed budget for your home maintenance needs. Include expenses like heating, insulation, weatherproofing – and any necessary repairs. Having a well-structured budget can help you plan for these eventual expenses and hopefully avoid financial stress. Because even with the best maintenance, unexpected repairs can still arise, so it’s wise to have an emergency fund set aside for these situations to avoid the need for high-interest loans or credit card debt – and there are fantastic ways to set this up in a way that’ll even build up your credit history. If you still discover that you need to make significant home improvements that can’t wait for warmer months, don’t rush into high-interest loans right away. There are great financing options like home equity loans, personal loans with favourable terms, or even government programs that promote energy-efficient upgrades. These financing options can provide the funds you need without negatively affecting your credit score.
Prioritise Energy Efficiency
This point sounds obvious, but one aspect of winter home maintenance that can affect you directly will always be your energy bill – especially in the energy crisis we’re still in. So, energy-efficient improvements like sealing drafts, adding insulation, and properly maintaining your heating systems are small investments that will immediately lower your energy bills dramatically. Proactive repairs also oftentimes prevent more costly emergency repairs down the line. Regularly check your home’s exterior, roof, plumbing, and heating. Timely attention to issues can help you avoid significant expenses.
Seek Professional Guidance if you need to
If you’re still going to face financial challenges this winter, consider seeking advice from a financial advisor or counsellor. They can not only provide valuable guidance on managing your expenses and creating a budget but also help explore financial options that are the best for your situation. Keeping your house in good shape is essential to make it smoothly through the colder months of the year. Tackle everything that needs attention as soon and best as you can, for at least some fewer things to worry about.