You’ll probably think me a miserable killjoy, but I hate snow. I know it looks pretty when it’s falling – as a child I used to look out of my bedroom window every morning from September 1st praying it would snow – but as an adult I now think it’s horrible, treacherous stuff which should only be allowed at ski resorts (if you’re somebody who likes that sort of thing) and on postcards. Oh, and I suppose the Arctic Circle etc. would look a bit silly without it.
Besides the obvious dangers it brings in terms of road travel, the Financial Times estimates that the cost to the UK’s businesses from the cold snap could be £1bn in lost productivity. And rather than thinking that a few days of snowman building is a welcome break from the credit crunch, some commentators claim the freak weather could actually prolong the recession. Around 20 per cent of the UK workforce (sensibly, if you ask me) stayed at home on Monday and airports were shut or flights cancelled. And the argument goes that if this weather continues, the UK economy could suffer even further difficulties.
But what will be the cost of the white stuff on a personal level? If, like me, you work from home or you can still get to work then hopefully your livelihood won’t be affected. However, if you’re self-employed or an agency worker and you can’t travel to work or your employer shuts down for a few days, you’ll lose money. If your kids can’t go to school you might have to stay at home to look after them or pay for childcare. And obviously, if you’re a construction worker or builder and the weather affects your trade then you’ll also feel it in your pocket. The high street will no doubt be feeling the pinch too. For shops that rely on passing trade, customer numbers may be down and deliveries could be disrupted. People won’t want to venture out unless they have to and they might not feel like indulging in retail therapy either.
We saved ourselves some money this week by cancelling the car service I’d booked for Monday morning. I didn’t exactly relish a drive over to Chelmsford in this weather so I decided that cancelling was the sensible option. We’re only putting off the inevitable of course, but it will save us some cash in the meantime. We should also save on petrol as driving in these conditions isn’t fun. In fact it’s unlikely we’ll want to go out at all, so we’ll save money generally.
But the other side of the coin is the extra spend on heating. DJ and I both worked from home yesterday and had the heating on most of the day. Many families and pensioners will be wondering whether they can afford to do this in the current economic climate, and could be risking their health if they don’t keep themselves warm.
Gloomy thoughts aside, if you’re looking for something fun and frugal to do in the snow, check out this fun link on making snow ice cream!
How has the cold weather hit your wallet? Do you enjoy snowy weather or is it an aggravation you could do without?
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