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Is the heat making you lose money as well as sleep

Is the heat making you lose money as well as sleep

Category: Money

Updated: 15/08/2016
First Published: 15/08/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The heat may be a welcome signal of summer, but it can sometimes get a bit too much – research from TopCashback has found that many people find it difficult to sleep and even concentrate during the summer months, and often end up spending more as a result.

Hot heads and big spenders

The research found that high temperatures can have an unexpectedly negative impact on many Brits, with 56% saying that they have trouble sleeping and 32% claiming their work productivity reduces thanks to a lack of concentration. A further 16% say that the heat makes them angry and frustrated – not a good combination!

It can have a clear financial impact, too, with many forced to spend extra cash to try and combat the rising mercury. Indeed, the figures show that it costs up to £713 to attempt to keep cool in the summer months, with both immediate and longer-term solutions being employed.

For example, 55% of respondents turn to electric fans to keep their cool, 10% have bought a plug-in air conditioning unit, and the same proportion have installed a ceiling fan. A further 18% said they resort to cooling sprays and 16% put their faith in ice packs, while 10% splash out on paddling pools – and 5% have gone one step further and installed a full-on swimming pool in their home.

Other solutions are more cost-effective, such as investing in thinner duvets (56%) and cooling pillows (10%), but it's the longer-term costs that can quickly add up. While a new swimming pool will undoubtedly cost the most overall, even things like turning on the fan will have an impact: typical energy bills increase by up to £108 thanks to air conditioning units, while ceiling or plug-in fans can lead to an average increase of £49 over the summer months.

Despite these rising costs, 52% of respondents said they're happy for their bills to go up if it means they're able to keep the temperature down, so it could be worth it for that extra measure of comfort during the summer months.

Splashing out

However, it isn't just the likes of energy bills that can rise during a heat wave – the research also found that respondents spend £56 more per month on grooming during the summer, as well as splashing out £186 on a new summer wardrobe. Food costs can also ramp up, with those summer salads and ice creams adding an extra £50 to the typical monthly grocery bill.

Unfortunately, all that extra expense could well be to no avail in the long run, as Natasha Rachel Smith, consumer affairs editor for, explains: "Feeling frustrated by sticky summers is causing people to reach for quick fixes, yet those summer heat splurges may be frivolous.

"Our research shows more than a quarter of people haven't used the items they bought to keep cool because temperatures didn't spike as they expected. Similarly, 22% of people say they've purchased products on impulse, and an equal number admit they often forget about the items they acquired.

"We always remind our members to be careful with their spending and take the time to think about the items they actually need and will use. Once consumers have decided on the products that work for them, there are often discounts, voucher codes and cashback deals to bring down costs."

This can only mean one thing – don't get carried away! Those few short weeks of summer may propel you to spend extra cash to keep your cool, but just make sure it's all actually worth the additional expense. Will you really need an air conditioning unit for the long term, and can you be certain that you'll make the most of a swimming pool? The Great British weather could well put paid to your tropical ideals of summer, so always think things through carefully – even a brand new summer wardrobe may not get used to the full effect.

If you must splurge, make sure to do so wisely – utilising discounts wherever you can – and keep energy bills under control by making sure you're on the right tariff. If you're not compare the options and switch, and hopefully you can keep your cool without spending a fortune in the process.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.