It’s an unfortunate fact that many people are struggling with their finances in 2022. There’s a cost of living crisis looming over many of us, informed by several factors including current world events and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Whether you’re being directly affected by this or not, you may still be looking for tips to manage your finances and look after yourself; for many, 2022 won’t be a great year, and 2023 doesn’t hold any great promise either in this regard.
Here’s what to do if you find that money is tight in 2022.
Get All The Help You Can
First off, you should make sure you’re claiming whatever benefits you possibly can. Depending on where you live, this will, of course, vary, but you should easily be able to find information on your government’s website about whether you’re entitled to certain benefits or not. There are also lots of private finance and loan companies that can help you in the short term; even if you have a poor credit rating, you’ll find very bad credit loans direct lenders out there who will give you the time of day and potentially help you out of a bad situation.
Create A Strict Budget
It’s not always easy to budget; that’s something we understand intimately. However, it will help you enormously if you’re struggling with money. Sit down and take a long, hard look at your finances. Closely examine what you’re earning each month and what you’re spending, and identify some problem areas in which you might be spending too much. Those are the places you need to cut back.
They might include subscription services, trips out to coffee shops or similar, or nights out. It might not feel good to sacrifice these things, but it will help your financial health in the long run.
Start Walking Or Cycling
If it’s possible for you, it’s a good idea to buy yourself a bike and start cycling to as many places as you can. Cycling has a huge amount of benefits; it’s not just cheaper for you, but it’s also good for the environment, healthier, and more flexible, too. You can still get to wherever you need to go (provided it’s within reasonable cycling distance, of course), but you won’t be spending a huge amount on petrol and you’ll be burning calories while you travel as well.
If you can’t afford a bike right now, then you might also consider walking to your destinations instead of taking public transport or driving.
Buy Cheaper Groceries
You can almost always find a way to cut back on your grocery spending if you’re smart with your budgeting. For example, why not try going meat-free for a few weeks? You can get a huge amount of protein from pulses like beans or chickpeas, all of which cost a tiny fraction of what you’ll pay for chicken breasts or mince, for example.
Similarly, if you swap to supermarket own-brand alternatives instead of expensive well-known brands, you’ll save a huge amount of money and you usually won’t have to compromise on taste or quality as well.
Cancel Any Unused Subscriptions (And Some Used Ones)
You might have to make some difficult decisions about your subscription services if you truly want to save some money and look after your finances. The first thing you should do is cut any subscriptions you aren’t currently using; many companies will prey on things like 30-day free trials to keep you signed up for something long past the point that it’s actually useful to you.
After that, it’s time to look at the subscriptions you are using. Do you really need Amazon Prime, for example? Could you get by without the one-day delivery benefits it offers? How much do you actually use that Netflix subscription?
Save Energy Where Possible
You can save a tremendous amount of energy by being mindful when you’re using it. Turning off taps while you’re not using them, for example, can save a huge amount of money in water costs while switching off lights when you exit rooms will help you save on your electricity.
If you absolutely must use your heating, then only turn it on when necessary; try to wear warm clothing and bundle up in blankets instead. Unless it’s freezing, this is usually sufficient for warming yourself up, and it has the added benefit of feeling super-cozy as well!
Buy Pre-Owned Where You Can
A staggering number of daily essentials and goods can be bought pre-owned, saving you the cost of a new item. Vehicles are an obvious place to start; if you really do need a car, you should never consider buying one new, as you can almost always get the same exact car for much less if you buy it used.
Electronics are also a great place to go for cheaper pre-owned goods; gaming consoles, appliances, and other items are usually still in great condition if they’re pre-owned, so you’ll pay significantly less for them without sacrificing quality.
Repair, Don’t Replace
Last year, the UK’s “right to repair” law came into force, requiring manufacturers to supply parts in order to help consumers to repair their goods themselves. This is always a good idea if you’re looking to save a little money. Instead of buying an entirely new washing machine, why not try to repair it using parts supplied by the manufacturer?
Of course, you should only attempt this if you think you have the expertise or skill necessary to do it, but it can save you a massive amount of money; after all, parts usually cost a tiny fraction of the amount an entirely new washing machine would set you back.