A cost of living crisis can be scary and confusing, not knowing where to begin when it comes to navigating the issue and cutting costs. We’re here to make it feel slightly less overwhelming and to give you some clear steps to follow in order to cut back on your spending where you can to feel less of an impact from the cost of living crisis.
Create A Budget
The first step to help you navigate the cost of living crisis is to create a very clear budget. When you have an hour to spare, sit down with a coffee and nice treat and get to work.
List down all of your outgoings for the month, then sort them into high and low priority. Starting with your high priority, it’ll be things like your rent, bills, debt repayments, insurance, car payments, essential food, essential clothing, etc. Then you will have your low priority, such as subscriptions, going out money, savings, holidays, non-essential toiletries, birthday presents, etc.
Now you have your list, compare it to your income. Your next step depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you just want to make sure you’re not spending more than you earn, as long as everything is in line then you’re good to go.
If you see you’re spending more than you earn, then you need to identify areas where you need to cut back (food shop, energy bills and subscriptions are good areas that we will get onto). Perhaps you want to free up more of your income to save for a house, for holidays, your retirement or you simply want to start spending money in better ways, then you should also look for spaces to cut back. This is also a good opportunity to be realistic about any debt you are in, don’t let it build up, but face it head on. That could be seeking IVA advice to make payments more manageable, making larger repayments or speaking to a financial advisor. Interest rates are on the rise so now is the best time to pay off your debt, or take a positive step to start doing so.
Write all of your budgets down in your phone and then when you spend or a direct debit comes out of your account, just jot it down. You can easily see if you’re on track and where you need to reign in your spending slightly to achieve your goals.
Now you know where you’re at financially, it’s time to save you some money!
Don’t Auto Renew Subscriptions
The first thing you can do to save money is to avoid auto renewing your subscriptions. Often things like your phone contracts, TV contracts, insurance etc. will automatically renew at a certain time in the year, often increasing the price slightly. You usually will be notified, but it’s so easy for an email to slip past you and you just continue to see payments come out.
However, this is the perfect opportunity to save a bit of money. Have a look at when these things are due to renew, and when the time is near, give them a call. Take a look at what other providers are offering, as well as what your provider is offering new customers, then say that you feel the prices are no longer competitive and want to know if there is anything they can do before you look elsewhere.
Even if you have no intention of changing providers, more often than not, you’ll get a reduced price when you call. Perhaps you have 5 different subscriptions (internet, TV, car insurance, home insurance and phone contract) and save £10 per month on each of them. This soon adds up to £50 a month, or £600 across the year! So, a quick phone call to your providers once a year is certainly worth a try.
Reduce Your Food Bill
A great place to save some money each month is by reducing your food bill. Start by writing down everything you plan to eat that week for breakfast, lunches and dinners, then make a strict list. Do your food shop stick to this list, so you don’t end up overbuying and wasting food!
You should also plan to eat more affordable foods, such as swapping out some of your meat for other protein sources like beans. For example, instead of using 500g beef mince in your chilli con carne, use 250g and then use a tin of black beans and a tin of kidney beans. This is much cheaper, healthier and contains just as much healthy protein. You can also bulk meals out with frozen vegetables, again, a much more affordable choice compared to proteins.
Another thing you can do is swap from brands to supermarket own products. You can literally cut the cost of your food shop in half by just making a simple swap. We always have some things that we love the branded version of, but give other things a chance and you might surprise yourself. You’ll definitely save a lot of money in the process, too!
Reduce Your Energy Bill
Lastly, another place where you can save a significant amount of money is on your energy bill. Prices are going up considerably, so now is the ideal time to change a few habits. Swap your baths out for showers, turn your tap off when you’re not using it, have a plumber check for any leaks or drips around your home, change to energy saving light bulbs and get a timer fitted on your boiler.
Cutting Your Food Costs While Still Eating WellFood and groceries can be expensive. Before you realize it, you look at your shopping bill, and you realize that you have spent twice the amount you wanted to. It is possible to cut the amount you spend on food without compromising quality. To
Another thing you can do is bulk cook your meals. Turning on multiple different appliances to cook with every night is very expensive, so instead, bulk cook meals. Things like chilli, soups, stews, curries and pasta sauces are all so easy to bulk cook, only require one appliance (the hob), and then you are only using it once for 6 portions of food, as opposed to one for 2 portions of food every night. Then, you simply freeze it, defrost when you’re ready to eat and reheat! This also cuts down on food waste. This is such a good hack that everyone should incorporate once or twice into their week.
Do you have any tips to help save money? Drop them In the comments below.