Cost of Living Crisis: Top 10 Tips for Money Saving
We’ve all seen the current news about the cost of living crisis that we are undergoing. But if you haven’t let’s have a quick at what that actually means. ‘Cost of living crisis’ refers to a scenario in which the costs of living, are rising faster than household income. This includes energy, fuel and food. Costs are higher across the country rather than just one area.
So what is actually rising? Well for one, inflation has risen 6% already. National insurance has risen from £9,568 to £12,570 a year, but wages are falling at the fastest rate since 2014. There’s a high demand for gas and oil. As energy prices increase across the globe, this means higher costs for companies and therefore customers. Rent, bills and mortgages are rising. Rent costs are now rising at their fastest rate. The east midlands saw the biggest increase in average rental prices. As well as that broadband and phone providers are increasing prices.
Make a spending plan
Make a proper spending plan. Overspending is often the result of not keeping track of how much you have going in and out of your bank. There are lots of useful online calculators that calculate your take-home pay. Taking into account tax, pensions and student loans. From there you can work out how much you can be spending and saving each month.
Review and cancel any subscriptions that you aren’t using. Which apps overlap? Or what you don’t use anymore, or if it’s not of value anymore. However, they’ll still be there to come back too if you want them!
Try and cut down energy costs
Working from home has probably pushed your energy and gas up and therefore your bills. At the same time, energy bills have increased substantially. Instead, you can use less, even by turning off appliances that are on standby and replacing old devices with new more energy-efficient ones. As well as washing clothes at a lower temperature. Think about what you use energy-wise during the day. How you can utilise the sunlight as it’s nearing springtime. Maybe utilising water as well.
Now we know this won’t replace buying from new completely, however, if you can buy second hand then that’s even better. Charity shops have been inundated with stock from people cleaning out during the lockdown. So by purchasing clothes, homeware or books from charity shops or online second-hand selling sites like eBay or Vinted, you will be getting them for a fraction of the price that you would completely new.
Sell old things online
In retrospect to buying second hand you can sell second hand online! Maybe you’re having a clear out of your wardrobe and want a spare bit of cash. Apps like Ebay or Depop you can sell old clothes, accessories or homeware. There are other websites such as Mazuma Mobile, Music Magpie and zapper where they give you money for old phones, CDs, DVDs and games. However, Ebay is the most popular one! You can also sell on Facebook marketplace, this may eliminate postage prices, as it broadcasts in your area.
Compare supermarket prices
Latestdeals.co.uk has an app that you can download for free that will compare the prices of individual items at supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Aldi and more. You compare pound for pound how much items cost. Their website also has deals for a variety of things, such as technology, home and children’s things. You can also think about shopping around, if one shop is cheaper for items than another, this could be an Asda shop and an Aldi shop or shopping at Tesco and Lidl. You can think about food delivery as well, as most large supermarkets home deliver. This can cut down on petrol prices and you can book slots that may be cheaper.
With all the uncertainty that is transpiring, it may be time to take up a course that makes you look more employable, or to take up a part-time job. What can you do? You may think about becoming an Assessor. If you’re skilled and competent in a certain sector, for example, hairdressing, then you can complete the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement. This will make you a fully qualified Assessor, where you can assess in the workplace as well as a learning environment.
The good thing about becoming an assessor is that the work schedule is fixed around you. Plus it’s a better rate of pay, and as apprenticeships are rising the need for assessors is high! With the Assessor course, you can complete it at your own pace and where you’re comfortable. You can also check our blog about reasons to become an assessor if we haven’t convinced you yet.
Reduced items and wasting less food
All supermarkets have a reduced section, this could be in the chilled area or in the dry foods, it’s always a good idea to check these when you can as you may get a bargain! However, it may differ from time to time and the reduced section may not have much when you check. This can be helpful when trying to waste less food. It’s always helpful to make a food plan or schedule. You could plan the meals a week ahead and try and stick to it.
But treating yourself isn’t something to be ashamed about. You may think about meal prepping as well. Then you have a few meals to last throughout the week. Or use what you need each day, either by buying for that day or setting out specific meals.
Checking providers, such as phone and broadband, TV providers as well as energy and credit cards. You can look at and compare all of these to try and get a better deal. As phone and broadband providers are increasing prices, it may be worth comparing contracts and sim only and pay as you go. You want to look around for the best price possible. There are multiple comparison websites to help you do this. It is also essential to compare energy as well as that has been hit drastically.
Add discount add-ons to shopping
Try and add discount add-ons to your phone or computer. This could be in the form of Honey, an add-on that you put on your Chrome browser. Honey works when you’re online shopping and before you get to the checkout, it will search the internet for deals relating to what you have in your basket. Sometimes it will find deals sometimes it won’t, it could be luck of the draw. But there are others that you can add as an extension. Not only that you can utilise incognito mode on your browser, this clears your web history so companies can’t track what you’re looking at and put the prices up. (Yes this happens!)
We hope that this has helped give you some advice and guidance even in these tough times. If you have any questions about becoming an assessor or what to do after you’ve become qualified then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01205 805 155 and we will be happy to help.