So many factors that are beyond our control contribute to the consistently escalating cost of living. The price of petrol will leave you gasping and teary-eyed, but most of us don’t have a choice since the car is usually a necessity to get to work, kids’ sports, medical appointment – and the list goes on. Even a visit to the supermarket these days will stress you out with the ever-increasing prices for basic items.
In tough economic times like these, we all need to use a little more diligent financial planning. So with that in mind, here are some money-management tips to help you better manage your finances in these times of increased living costs.
1. Find the cheapest petrol
The price of petrol fluctuates wildly, but it generally only heads in one direction, and that’s up. So, while you can’t expect it to be as cheap as it was a few years ago, there are always some petrol stations selling fuel for a lower price than the others - so if there’s one close to you, it definitely pays to shop around. And you don’t need to get in your car to look for the best price - there are fuel price apps available you can download to your phone to make your search easier.
2. Don’t drive more than necessary
Even though you may be able to find a petrol station with cheaper fuel, it’s still expensive, especially if you have a large, gas-guzzling vehicle. It can still take a significant portion of your budget if you keep using your car, so try combining multiple tasks into one trip (like stopping at the supermarket on the way home from work). You could also consider carpooling, public transport, or even walking or cycling. When you spend less on fuel, you’ve got more money left in the budget to allocate towards other important expenses.
3. Review your budget regularly
Since the cost of living keeps escalating at a speedy pace, it pays to review your budget and adjust it accordingly. Take time to consider things like your weekly grocery budget, transport costs, subscriptions, eating out, etc. By reviewing your budget at least once a week, you can identify the areas that you may be able to cut back on.
4. Be smart about your grocery shopping
Like petrol, groceries are necessities that can't be avoided. But it seems like every week the cost of basic food items increases, so it’s time to become a smart shopper. Try not to miss the weekly specials, check online for items on sale, buy non-perishable items in bulk, and most importantly, have a weekly meal plan before you go to the supermarket – that way, you can list down everything you have to buy and avoid unnecessary impulse buying.
5. Reduce your utility bills
You may not notice it, but you probably leave many of your appliances on even when not in use. Or maybe you have a leaking tap. Check also how often you use your mobile phone. In short, review your utility bills and think about how you can combat the escalating cost of living by cutting down usage where you can. In this environment, every little bit helps.
6. Make frugal choices
If you want a sound money management plan, make frugal choices. But don’t confuse this as meaning cheap, as these are two different things. Being frugal means you’re finding ways to spend less. Life is meant to be enjoyed and we all appreciate eating out, going to the movies and enjoying a coffee with friends from time to time. You don’t have to stop doing the things you love, but it may be time to cut back on the frequency, so you can lower your overall cost of living.
7. Create some extra income
No matter what we do, we can’t stop the cost of living from escalating. So, it’s definitely a good idea to find a source of extra income if you can. If you think a pay raise is justifiable, ask for it. If you have a spare room, you might want to think about renting it out. There are also plenty of other side hustles you can consider, such as freelance writing, babysitting, dog sitting, and more.
8. Consider working remotely
Remote working can help you create better financial planning. Many companies offer a remote work setup, so you might want to consider discussing it with your boss or find a job that would allow you to work from home. At this point, it may be one of the best ways to avoid a high cost of living and even save money in the process since you don’t have to spend on petrol or public transport, and you’ll be less tempted to spend money at the local café for a quick sandwich or coffee.
Whatever happens – don’t stress
We’re all doing it tough these days and we hope our tips will help you better manage the escalating cost of living. But if you’re in a financial bind and need some assistance, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loans up to $5,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours – so whatever’s happening in your life, we could help take the financial stress out of it.