The cost of living today is higher than it was 5 years ago and doesn't show any signs of coming down any time soon.
The price of even the most basic commodities, including food, fuel, and energy, has been rising at an alarming rate, faster than the average person's income. Almost everyone has been forced to tighten their belts and cut down on their spending to save whatever small they have. While inflation (risen by about 6%) has partly contributed to this, wage rates have been dropping drastically in the past eight years, while oil and gas prices hit record highs across the globe. National insurance has also risen by 31% in the past year, with other bills following suit, including mortgages, rent, broadband, and phone bills.
With all these uncertainties, it only makes sense to readjust your spending habits and priorities to be able to push through the tough times. Outlined below are a few tips on how to cope with the increasing cost of living.
1. Formulate a proper spending plan
The tough economic times call for tough measures, such as budgeting for every coin. The worst mistake you can make at this time is to spend more than you are making. Thankfully, there are plenty of online calculators and apps that can help you calculate and even monitor your spending. Start by summing all the necessary deductions (pension, tax, student loans, etc.) to see how much you are left with. You can then allocate an appropriate amount for the basic needs and even set some money aside for a rainy day. Don't just create a spending plan; stick to it and only make necessary adjustments to the same. If you can’t do so then perhaps you need to make ends meet with instant payday loans by My Quick Loan
2. Review all your subscriptions
Cable, phone, internet, and app subscriptions can eat away a significant chunk of your income. Review all your subscriptions and cancel those that aren't necessary anymore. Be store to stop all automatic payments for these subscriptions, or have the respective companies stop the service.
3. Cut down on energy costs
Improving your home's energy efficiency can help save you some money in the long run. This is particularly crucial with the increase in energy costs. Although working from home might have increased your energy usage, there are still ways you can keep energy costs down. One of the most effective and recommended ways is to ensure all unused appliances are unplugged from the socket. Switching to more energy-efficient appliances and lights can also help. Even with these energy-efficient appliances, you still need to look for ways to keep energy consumption even lower. Running the washing machine only on full load and at a lower temperature, for example, can save lots of energy. Air drying your clothes outside (in spring or summer) will go a long way too.
4. Buy second-hand items
Second-hand items are considerably cheaper than new items. Although you can't always buy second-hand items, you will be saving lots of money if you buy from charity shops and second-hand online stores such as Vinted or eBay. You will be surprised how much you will be paying for hardly used homeware, clothes, books, and even electronics.
5. Sell items you no longer need online
In addition to buying second-hand items, you can also make money selling items you don't need anymore. Old clothes, homeware, accessories, electronics, furniture, games, magazines, and other items in good condition can be sold on eBay and other stores to generate some income. You could also take advantage of social media platforms, such as Facebook, to sell your stuff online. This eliminates additional postage prices and only broadcasts to willing buying close by. All you need to do is ensure the items are in good and usable condition.
6. Compare product prices at different supermarkets
Prices at different supermarkets can vary. Some supermarkets will also have clearance sales and products on offer, a reason you should try comparing prices first before heading out. Thanks to technology, you don't necessarily have to go to all these supermarkets to compare prices; Latestdeals.co.uk can do it for you. You can use the app to compare prices from different supermarkets such as Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, and Aldi, pound for pound from the comfort of your home. If some items are cheaper at Sainsbury's, for example, you can then choose to shop for those there. Most supermarkets also offer a home delivery service. You can thus order all you need from each supermarket and have the items delivered to your doorstep. You will also be saving on fuel prices by doing so.
7. Take up a part-time job
Taking up a second job might be the only way to supplement your income. Part-time jobs provide an excellent opportunity to make a little money to take care of any deficiencies and top up savings. If this isn't an option, advancing your skills or even signing up for a certificate in another sector, say hairdressing, computer literacy, internet marketing etc., can make you more employers. These will come in handy in these times of uncertainty.
Signing up for a certificate in assessing Vocational achievement to become a certified Assessor is another step you could take. Working as an Assessor can improve your pay rate and even allow you to choose your work schedule. With the demand for Assessors in apprenticeships increasing, this might be the break you need for higher pay.
8. Go for reduced items and avoid food wastage
Almost every supermarket has a section for discounted or reduced-price section. It can be either the dry foods or chilled areas. It would therefore be advisable to check these areas out first whenever out shopping – you could get a bargain. The discounted items will vary from time to time, which is why it's always good to check what's available instead of walking past the section.
Creating a food schedule or plan can also help limit your food wastage. Planning your meals in advance and preparing foods for at least one week can see you save lots of money in the process. Those leftover foods can be tossed in the fridge to be eaten as snacks the following morning.
9. Compare different providers
All credit card, energy, TV, broadband, and phone providers don't charge a flat rate for their service. Some providers will offer you a better deal while others will be more expensive. You can, however, avoid the expensive ones by comparing prices and contracts between different providers. As mentioned before, there are numerous tools that can help you compare the prices of various providers, all with a touch of a button. All you need is to choose an affordable and reliable provider.
10. Try discount add-ons
Discount add-ons are a must-have, especially when shopping online on your phone or computer. These add-ons, e.g., Honey, can be added to your browser to help search for and identify sweeter deals based on your shopping habits. Honey, for instance, will compare the prices of various items on your shopping cart with other providers to find better deals. If you are not ready to add add-ons to your browser just yet, you could try shopping in incognito mode. This prevents companies from tracking your shopping habits and intentionally bombarding you with advertisements or even hiking prices.
Don't let the tough times get the best of you. Follow the tips outlined above to keep your bills manageable and save as much as possible. You can also call us today for advice and guidelines on how to make it through the tough times and how to become an assessor.
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