You may have noticed that the cost of essentials such as rent, bills, and even food has been creeping up over the years. For some, the rate of these increases may not match the amount their wages rise. This could lead you to worry about how you will manage to afford things in the future, especially if you are only just about getting by in the present. Rather than allowing these concerns to take over your life, you might want to think about how you could take steps to make your life easier.
Put Savings first
Having some amount of savings can be incredibly useful in a crisis, as well as to allow you to have some. However, not all savings accounts may be appropriate for you and your needs. Some might charge you for the privilege of having the account, which may seem counterproductive when you don’t have much money spare. Others may require a set amount of money to be paid in each month for you to gain the promised interest which, again, might not be feasible. Therefore, you might want to start your ISA now, as this can allow you to save as little or as much as you like, up to a given limit, without paying any fees or tax on your total.
Don’t Rely on Debt
Putting some payments onto a credit card or finance option can be fine, if you can guarantee that these will be paid off immediately. However, some people may end up falling into a debt trap, where they continuously pay off debt and then need to take out more to get by. It can be incredibly tempting to rely on payday loans, especially if you have a poor credit history, when times get hard.
However, the interest on these can be substantially higher than that of a traditional loan, as can the fees should you default on a payment. Rather than using these, it may be a good idea to revisit any existing budgets you have written down. This can help you to see where your money is going, and even push you to stick to living within your means.
Seek out Alternatives
Some of the things you pay for may not actually be a necessity, contrary to what you might think. Switching from name branded food and toiletries to store brands could help to shave off some of your outgoings. Larger spends could also potentially be exterminated.
As an example, you might want to consider downgrading, or even cancelling, your gym membership and to use some free or cheap alternatives instead. Many cardio activities can be undertaken without equipment, and you can find workout videos for free online. Even getting a second hand weights machine to keep at home could be cheaper.
If the cost of living is worrying you, you might be considering taking on more work. While this is one solution, you might also want to think about how you can adjust your existing money so that you can still make ends meet without burning yourself out.