In comparison to years gone by, the business of living, working, running a household, and raising family is a rather more prickly and expensive one that it once was. Obviously it is important to throw in some perspective here and quickly say that we still have it much better than most of the world in terms of the standard of living that we enjoy, but the streets are certainly no longer paved with gold here as we once thought and we were once told.
Britons are still feeling the squeeze
With our finances seemingly becoming ever more stretched with each passing year and with the economic recovery yet to filter down the food chain to the majority of Britons, it has become ever more important to be fluent in the art of sound money management. After all, an increasingly tight budget will eventually squash your ability to maintain the lifestyle which you and your family have become accustomed to, and it can be rather distressing cutting back on the things that you enjoy when you are working hard week in, week out. A few small treats here and there shouldn’t be too much to expect, and a few tweaks to your attitude to spending should ensure that they are not. The key is to get more for less and shop smart; an approach which will get results, even if you are already on a low income.
Draw up a budget so that you can organise your finances
If you are committed to embarking on a fresh, consumer savvy approach to managing your money, it is crucial to be organised so that you can monitor your spending and keep a close eye on how much you are paying out and to whom. Drawing up a budget is an essential way of doing this because it will firstly allow you to give your finances a much needed medical, and then allow you to compare your essential spending, such as the money you spend on rent, bills, and food, to your monthly income. This might prove to be an uncomfortable experience if you calculate your disposable income and find that it is a good deal less than you thought, but equally this will allow you to scrutinise your outgoings and plan out just how you are going to cut back on your spending.
Cut down your weekly food shop
Food shopping is an expense which can set you back a small fortune each month, especially if you are raising children. Obviously cutting out spending on the weekly shop simply isn’t possible of course, but it certainly is possible to slash the amount that you are spending by changing your approach to cooking and where you do your weekly shop. By cutting out the pre-prepared processed meals and take-away sand instead turning your hand to a bit of home cooking, you could save a small fortune each month. Just as importantly, this more healthy approach to preparing food could add years to your life and in all likelihood will taste a great deal better if you become a dab hand with a little salt, pepper, and garlic. If you are apprehensive about buying supermarket own brand ingredients, there really is no reason to be because it is no different in terms of taste and quality, but it makes all the difference in price. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to start shopping at a less high-brow supermarket; again it will save your money.
Are you Eligible for Benefits
Times are tough and there is no shame in seeking a little help if you consider you consider yourself to be among the working poor. If you are working but are on a low income or are stuck on low hours, it is always a good idea to find out if you are entitled to any help from the Department of Work & Pensions.If you’re entitled to any benefit or welfare payments, this could go a long way to alleviating some of the financial pressure.
This article has been written by one of our guest authors Jolie Fulton. Jolie’s articles are written to help readers save money and ease their financial pressure. Jason recently published an article discussing the options when you have bad credit – check it out!