If you’re a regular reader of Sahara Vibes you will know that I talk about saving money & budgeting a LOT. It is even more important these days due to the extreme rise of the cost of living. Here in the UK, soaring fuel & energy prices have helped drive the rate of inflation up to 7% – the highest rate since 1992! The Bank of England predict that it will increase even further in 2022 – up to 10%! In simple terms this means that we will be able to buy less of some things with the same amount of money as previously. This obviously is going to cause a massive problem for many households, not just in the UK but all over the globe, where rates are similarly high. If your income does not increase to cover this rise in the cost of living, then what else can you do? I have listed some ideas below.
If you haven’t already got a budget – get one drawn up now! It doesn’t need to be a long, tedious process & it isn’t as scary as you may think. Facing the reality can be tough, but trust me, seeing the exact numbers in front of you in black & white can bring clarity. There are some good budgeting tips HERE. The main goal of the budget is to see where you can cut costs or increase income where appropriate to make your figures balance!
- If you have any spare time you could take a 2nd job or do some jobs for friends / family in your neighborhood – dog walking, gardening, car washing, shopping etc. Word may spread & you may find yourself with another handy income stream!
- De-cluttering in the home can lead to extra income from eBay / Facebook sales. You may be surprised with how much you can let go of, that other people will willingly pay for.
- If you enjoy the online selling process, you may even venture to charity shops or car boot sales to source items to resell. This can be a handy 2nd income.
- If you are employed, ask your employer if there is any chance of extra hours at work or maybe you are even due for a pay-rise or a promotion? If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
- If you are self-employed, are there any easy ways you can increase income in your current business? A referral scheme for existing customers is always a good tip. People love to buy from & use services from companies that have been recommended personally by a friend.
- Check if you are eligible for any low-income benefits.
- Look at how much money you are budgeting for food shopping. Do you already have meal plans in place? If not, give it a try. It means you are likely to only shop for the ingredients you need & there is less wastage.
- Many towns have opened low-cost community shops where short-dated fruit / veg / meat etc is sold at a huge discount. The shop in my local town sells a wide variety of fruit & veg & bread for 20p per item! Yes, 20p!! That is an amazing saving.
- You may also have access to Foodbanks where you can get staple items if you are really struggling to buy food.
- Are there any areas of your budget that you can cut down on or remove completely? Do you really need that foreign holiday this year? Maybe a stay-cation or camping trip would be fun instead at a lot lower cost.
- Similarly, look at how much you budget for friends & family gifts & celebrations. Can you agree to gift homemade items this year or swap skills instead? Christmas & birthdays can be a huge expense.
- Cancel all unnecessary subscriptions – do you really need an Amazon Prime / Audible subscription? And similarly Netflix / Spotify etc. All these small monthly amounts soon add up.
- If things are really tough & you have tried all the cutbacks you can, then don’t be ashamed to reach out for help – either to a friend or family member who may be able to support you with a short term loan. Or a trusted, reputable loan organisation. Make sure you get appropriate advice – there are many free debt helplines available.