The cost-of-living crisis has impacted innumerable households across the UK since late 2021, and the squeeze continues for the vast majority of them. From high supermarket costs to higher energy bills, it can seem like there is little reprieve from what amounts to a financial onslaught.
However, while the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis are plain to see, it should not be a cause for you to sacrifice your quality of life. Frugal living is more than just survival; with the right approach, you can maintain your personal well-being – and even thrive in the process.
Assess Your Habits
The first step in any financial journey is to get the lay of the land. You will already have some understanding of your present financial situation, but a comprehensive look over your income and expenditure could reveal some areas where you can recoup money. From here, you can create a budget that allows for leisure pursuits or the keeping of some luxuries.
Make Your Money Work
If you have savings, you might not be getting the most out of them. While Bank of England-mandated shifts to interest rates have had negative impacts in some places, there are positive impacts elsewhere – especially with regard to banking. With high interest rates more common, you should ensure that any money you have in an ISA is bringing you the best interest returns; migrating to a new bank could increase your passive income dramatically, depending on how much you have kept back.
Cook at Home
The phrase ‘we have food at home’ has been rightly meme-ified, where the allure of fast food is far greater than the nourishment provided by most basic at-home meals. But it doesn’t need to be like this at all, and even the slightest bit of attention to your cooking skills can have revelatory impacts on both your wallet and your soul.
Cooking at home needn’t mean seven days a week of white rice and frozen vegetables. With the right weekly budget and a little bit of adventurous culinary spirit, you can create a cooking schedule that allows you to batch-cook delicious meals for pence per portion. Even if you find yourself resorting to white rice, the addition of an egg and some Lao Gan Ma can elevate this most basic of foods to the kind you look forward to.
Just as learning some new culinary skills can transform your day-to-day life, so too can learning DIY transform you in terms of self-reliance. Emergency costs brought on by DIY emergencies or mishaps can be debilitating if you need to call out a tradesperson and weather a hefty sum – but learning to fix them yourself can be immensely rewarding, cost-effective, and even fun.
There is nothing fun about struggling for cash, and the end is sadly not in sight for a large number of people on the breadline. But if you are in a position to make some simple changes in certain areas, you can turn the tide on your own situation.