Pensioners urged to seek ‘most efficient’ energy deals this winter- easy ways to save

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The winter months can be a hard time for older people as colder weather can make energy bills climb and Christmas shopping can quickly add up – causing many to feel the pinch. People can often end up spending more than they planned, leaving them worrying about the financial repercussions of the festive season, rather than enjoying themselves.

To assist, Alice Jones, Head of Barclays Money Mentors, shares guidance for older people who are looking for some tips and tricks to help them look after the pennies and pounds this winter.

Check your bills

“Taking the time to do a bit of life admin and check which tariffs and deals you’re on and if it’s the most efficient deal for your household bills can save a pretty penny when it comes to your energy supplier.

“To help you save some cash, silver surfers can keep an eye out for deals by using bill comparison sites and switching to a new provider every so often. You can also call your existing supplier and ask to be put onto its cheapest deal.

“By taking your household bills through a much-needed winter check, you’ll create a better picture of what your finances look like and can rework your budget accordingly.”

See what payments you are eligible for

“There are a range of payments that are available to those of retirement age to financially support you through the winter months, so it’s worth having a quick check on government websites to see which you qualify for.

“The winter fuel allowance, for example, provides older individuals with an extra £100 – £300 (depending on age and personal situation) and is available to those who were born before 26th September 1955.

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“Plus, if you receive Pension Credit then you could be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment of £25 whenever the temperature drops to zero for seven consecutive days.”

Get creative with present giving

“With everyone becoming more conscious about their impact on the world, sustainable gifts are definitely worth thinking about and there’s a chance to save some money too. Whether you go for a homemade gift like a knitted jumper or recycle something from your own wardrobe, you might be surprised at what’s back in fashion!

“If funds are particularly tight, suggest setting up a Secret Santa with the family – the element of surprise will keep things exciting on the day and it allows you to set a budget between everyone.

“And remember to keep an eye out for details of any festive activities arranged by local charities and organisations – often these are free and are another way to celebrate without impacting your finances.”

Talk about it

“It can be hard to figure out how much you can really afford to spend and save, no matter how old you are. Although it may feel uncomfortable at first, it can be very beneficial to talk to someone about your current situation, especially at this time of the year when the pennies often need to stretch further.

“Whether you’re looking to save for a holiday, to get away for some winter sun, or you’re hoping to put a little extra aside for Christmas presents, Barclays has a free and impartial service called Barclays Money Mentors, where you can speak to someone about your money worries or goals and create a budget plan.

“It can be really helpful to talk everything through and hear about what options you have to make your hard-earned pension work as hard as possible for you.”

Consolidate your accounts

“Many of us build-up a sizable number of bank and savings accounts throughout our lifetime, which can make it difficult to keep track of where our money is. To make life easier, it may be worth having a financial declutter from time to time.

“If you have cash spread across a number of bank and savings accounts, why not move them into just two or three? That way you will have better control over your money and save yourself the hassle of juggling multiple statements.”

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