You’ve probably noticed that the price of everything has been going up, and unfortunately the cost of living crisis is not going to end any time soon. A lot of young professionals are struggling to afford everyday necessities as wages are stagnating despite inflation hitting record highs. Remember when everyone was freaking out over inflation reaching 6%? Well now it’s gone up to 11% and everyone has sort of given up at this point. The best thing left to do is to try and budget as much as you can and prepare for the looming recession.
Have a budget and stick to it
Nowadays, it’s become way too easy to spend money on things you don’t need. There’s food everywhere you go from food stands, and restaurants, to random supermarket deals. Combined with contactless payment or google pay, this makes it nearly impossible not to overbuy! The number one rule when you want to budget is to have more than one bank account. If you’re using your main account where your monthly wage gets paid as your current account, then you’re more likely to overspend and will find it difficult to stick to your budget. Ideally, you want to have at least three bank accounts, one for your bills, one where you get paid that you can use as a savings account, and an everyday current account. Once you’ve worked out your budget, you can transfer a set amount of money to your current account each month and try to stick to it!
Watch where you shop
You can save a significant amount of money on food shopping by just paying more attention to which supermarket you shop at. Although the difference might not seem huge when you compare each item, it does add up. The cheapest supermarket chains in the UK at the moment are Lidl and Aldi so try to go for those if you’re able to, otherwise, Tesco and Asda are slightly expensive but they’re not bad if you haven’t got any other options. This may sound obvious to most people but try to avoid places such as Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, M&S, and Whole Foods as they’re significantly more expensive. In addition, make sure to check for local staple food markets in your area as sometimes they do beat Aldi’s prices.
Can you spend less on rent?
You might be able to spend less on rent depending on your situation. Depending on where you live you might be able to find more affordable options, i.e. find s flatshare with more people to split the rent, or live further away from town although this could increase your commute time, it’s always good to look into it. If you’re based in London, try to avoid expensive areas such as zone 1 and 2 and instead go for more affordable boroughs, such as Croydon, Islington, or even Dagenham; this works even better if you don’t have to go into the office every day, you could try to move to one of London’s cheapest commuter towns.
Can you spend less on your daily commute?
Apart from food shopping and rent, people also spend tons of money on their daily commute. However, you might be able to try a cheaper way to commute. If you drive or take the bus every single day and you think you might be able to walk, run or cycle to work instead, you should give it a go since it’s free and it’s great for your mental health and to get some exercise. If you live in London, bear in mind that the average commuter in London spends roughly £120 on the tube per month. Therefore you should consider taking the bus or cycling to work if you have the option. Ultimately, nothing beats working from home, so if you believe you could work remotely try to discuss it with your boss. Not only will working from home saves you a lot of time but it’ll also make a huge difference financially and positively impact your mental health.
Learn to say no
Sometimes it can be tricky to decline when friends want to make plans or go out regularly, however, it’s important to be upfront and say no when you have to. Try not to be a flake and don’t avoid people but instead be honest and say that your budget is a bit tight and that you’ll have to pass. There’s nothing to be ashamed of as the cost of living crisis is impacting almost everyone. If you’re good at managing your budget and don’t overspend you’ll be able to plan in advance and go out when you can afford to do so.