Inflation has reached 8.5% which is its highest rate since 1982. What this translates to is that the cost of everything is going up. Since most of our earnings have remained the same, it means we now get much less for our money, our budgets need to stretch further to pay the same bills and purchase the same products that we usually do, and for many people, it’s pushing them over the breadline.
Even if you were previously quite comfortable with money, this is likely to be a time when you find you’re having to budget more carefully, count the pennies, and generally keep a close eye on what you’re spending. Here are a few ways you can help yourself get through this time.
#1: Go Through Your Budget
First things first, it’s always worth looking through your current spending and seeing what you can reduce. Do you have subscription services that you don’t use as often as you should?
Could you downgrade your mobile phone contract once it’s due for renewal, could you downsize your tv package or switch to a cheaper gym? In terms of utilities, are you getting the best price for everything- run quotes through price comparison sites to find out.
If you take a look at your banking app, they often have money management tools you can check out. There are things like charts showing how much you’ve spent in different categories over the past few months. If you’ve spent a large portion of your budget on luxury purchases, then this is one area you could focus on reducing.
#2: Change the Way You Shop
Saving money often means changing your shopping habits and attitudes. Consider trying out cheaper brands at the grocery store. You might not like everything, but making switches to the things that you still enjoy could save money.
Menu planning and shopping more carefully can also help with the cost of groceries. When it comes to buying things like clothes, homeware, and other items, consider second-hand. Not only is this more sustainable but you can save a decent amount of money compared with brand-new.
#3: Start a Business With Low Investment
Finally, increasing the amount of money you bring in is another way to battle rising costs. Side hustles such as blogging and freelancing can bridge the gap when you’re short on money. And both are things that can be done from home.
Starting your own business is another idea. If you go with something that requires low investment you have nothing to lose. Over time, you could employ others to take over various jobs for you. And eventually, you’re left with a business that runs itself and generates income for you without much input.
Just be sure to fill in all the right documentation. For example, if you’re hiring other people you’ll need to look into how to apply for an ein (Employee Identification Number). You’ll also need the right insurance and licenses depending on what you sell.
Even if it’s just you, your business will need to be properly registered so you can pay the right tax. However, once these things are initially set up, it’s plain sailing from there. Plus, it is a great way to earn additional income.
There is a way to not struggle through this cost of living crisis. You will just have to find the best way to make your money work for you.