Senior Saving Tips: Easy and Simple Ways for Pensioners to Save Money this Winter
Many people are looking to make savings, especially pensioners. As many are getting by on a limited income, the rising cost of living is bound to be a challenge. Here are some easy and simple ways for pensioners to save money this winter.
Elderly people reliant on pensions are unfortunately likely to feel the impact of the cost of living crisis first. It isn’t only that pensioners' relatively fixed income isn’t sufficient enough to cover essential spending, but elderly people also spend more time at home meaning the cost of energy is going to be hitting particularly hard this winter.
What impact will the cost of living crisis have on the elderly?
The cost of living crisis will impact both the elderly’s physical health and mental well-being. Age UK’s research found that 1 in 10 of those over 60’s were considering reducing or stopping the care they receive as they can no longer afford it and that just over 2 in 10 were considering cutting back on prescription medication or specialist food to save money. Without the necessary care, support and medication, their physical health will begin to deteriorate and the elderly will become even more vulnerable and frail.
The elderly may also begin to feel more stressed and overwhelmed as they try to manage the cost of living crisis, as well as isolated if they and their families are trying to cut back on travel and unnecessary spending.
Easy and simple ways to save on your energy bills
Changing from traditional light bulbs to LED
LED light bulbs are one of the most energy-efficient options on the market today. While they are more expensive to buy, LEDs will reduce the amount of energy (by around 70-90%) you’re using, and in turn, reduce your energy bill.
Don’t leave devices in standby mode
Following the pandemic, much more of the elderly generation are better acquainted with technology such as smartphones and tablets. However, these kinds of devices are known for being vampire devices; these are electrical devices that when left on standby they quickly drain energy, and eventually your wallet.
Leaving your smartphone or tablet on charge longer than need be will eventually run up your electricity bill. The same can be said for other electrical devices, for example, your TV, so try to not leave things in standby mode.
Check energy-efficiency ratings
If you have any old appliances, it may be worth investing in new ones as older appliances consume much more energy. All appliances now have an energy label that indicates their efficiency, running from G to A. Check that any new appliances you are buying have a good energy rating. More energy-efficient appliances are more expensive to buy but will save you money in the long run.
Turning lights off
You should be more mindful of turning the lights off when you leave rooms. But, keep stairs and hallways well-lit to avoid falls.
Thermostats and timers for your heating
Use thermostats so your heating only kicks in when it drops to certain temperatures. You can also use timers for your heating so you’re not heating rooms that aren’t in use at certain points in the day. For example, you can heat the living room during the day, and then heat your bedrooms in the evening and early mornings.
Defrost your freezer
Every six months defrost your freezer to ensure it’s running efficiently. You may want to get some family over to help with this as it can be a difficult and tiring job.
Other ways to save money
If you are chronically sick or disabled and mobility is for your own domestic use you may be exempt from VAT. Our product listings show prices inc. VAT and excl. VAT to show how much you could be saving if you do qualify.
Give up unhealthy habits
It’s no secret that kicking unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is good for your health. But, it is also good for your wallet! You can even work out how much you’d save by stopping smoking by using the NHS’s Quit Calculator.
When you reach the State Pension age in England there are many ways you can save money when traveling.
• Senior Railcard – one-off payment each year that gets you an annual savings card to save money on most rail fares
• Free Bus Pass – in England when you get to the State Pension age you get a free bus pass and in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland over 60’s get a free bus pass
• Freedom Pass – if you’re based in London this can get you free off-peak travel on trains, tubes, trams, and buses in and around the city
Check your eligibility for benefits and other financial help
The Winter Fuel Payment
The Winter Fuel Payment is an annual-tax-free payment for people born before 26th September 1956 to help cover the costs of heating throughout the Winter. It is between £100-£300, the exact amount depends on your age and whether others in your household also qualify.
If you already claim State Pension or another social security benefit (excl. Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit, Universal Credit or deferred State Pension) you should be paid automatically. There is a Winter Fuel Payment Helpline 0800 731 0160 if you’re unsure if you qualify or if you need to make a claim directly. You’ll need your National Insurance number and your bank or building society details to hand.
Cold Weather Payment
With this, you get £25 a week for each 7-day period of cold weather between 1st November and 31st March each year. The average temperature needs to be 0˚C or below for 7 consecutive days. To qualify you also need to be receiving other benefits e.g. Pension Credit.
The Warm Home Discount
The Warm Home Discount is a one-off payment added as a credit to your electricity bill to help with the cost of energy over winter. This winter it’s rising from £140 to £150 and is automatically applied if your supplier is part of the Warm Home Discount scheme and if you or your partner receive the Guarantee Credit part of the Pension Credit.
If you are eligible you will receive a letter between November 2022 and January 2023 telling you about the discount, and this will then be automatically applied to your bill until 31st March 2023. This Warm Home Discount doesn’t affect your entitlement to a Winter Fuel Payment or Cold Weather Payment.