It’s a difficult time for households across the United Kingdom right now. Families who were previously financially comfortable are struggling to make ends meet, and those who were in hardship before the cost of living crisis are going through the toughest time imaginable.
We are all having to reduce our spending amidst rapidly increasing prices. Everything from groceries to petrol to rent has become wildly more expensive in the past few months. Eventually things will return to some degree of normality, but for now the future is uncertain. The best we can do is to carefully manage our household budgets and make savings wherever we can.
To help you and your loved ones through this difficult time, here are four tips for coping with the cost of living crisis.
Create a household budget
One of the best ways to keep a rein on your spending is to create a household budget. This can take the form of a simple spreadsheet that tracks exactly how much money you have coming in each month, and how much you are spending. Plotting your essential expenses like food, bills, and childcare will show you how much disposable income you have left at the end of the month. It will also help you to identify any areas where you can save money and make you less likely to splash out on luxury items.
Cut out unnecessary spending
Are there any luxuries in your life you can do without? Perhaps you pay for a monthly Netflix subscription in order to keep up with all the latest films and TV shows. Cutting this out can save you almost £100 a year, and there are plenty of great programs you can watch on terrestrial television instead. Alternatively, try password sharing with a friend or relative and splitting the cost with them. A gym membership could be traded in for a pair of running shoes and a few inexpensive pieces of equipment for a home workout. Go through your spending and be ruthless about what you can and can’t justify.
Reduce your energy bill
The cost of energy is through the roof, and as we enter another long, cold winter, many households are understandably worried. Be careful about the amount of energy you use. Be sparing with the heating and try to find other ways to keep you warm, such as thick layers of clothing and hot water bottles. Take shorter showers and turn electronics off at the wall when not in use. Good habits will add up into significant cost savings over time.
Find another source of income
A little extra money in your pocket will go a long way. If you can find another way to make money alongside your full time job, you will find it a lot easier to cope this winter. If you are of a creative nature, consider making your own Christmas decorations or festive snacks and selling them online. Alternatively, you could get to grips with property investment or dabble in the stock market for some additional revenue.
What money saving tips do you use? Let us know in the comments!