Times haven’t been this tough for some time. The last two years saw unemployment rise and many businesses collapse due to Covid.
All manner of retail units became empty as Britain’s high streets were vacated due to lockdowns.
After all the problems with Covid, now the country has to endure seriously high inflation rates. According to Trading Economics, inflation in the UK has edged up to 5.5%. This is the highest it has been at any time since 1992.
This then has a knock-on effect on the average person in the country. Food is more expensive, household bills are rising, and even the way people are employed has changed.
The zero-hour culture of some companies, and the gig economy is making it hard for many to make ends meet, let alone save money too.
So, how can you try and save in such tough times?
Shop around for everything
This means shopping around for better deals on gas, mobile phone, petrol, electricity, water bills, internet, the lot.
Forbes reported that Spark Energy was the cheapest supplier in September of 2021. It really can pay to look at every area of expenditure and find alternatives.
Save before you spend
Yes, this sounds a lot easier said than done. But if you remove the amount you wish to save before you start spending you will find it easier to forget that money, and it will build up.
Some financial experts believe that you should save 10% of your monthly income. This sounds quite easy, but 10% is a substantial sum and can be difficult to remove from a budget.
Try to work out an amount that you can afford to save, that you can leave alone afterward. Just the tiniest amounts will grow with time.
Follow the saving plan on this website for instance. The 52-week saving challenge has been designed for people to save pennies until it turns into hundreds of pounds.
Check whether you really are saving money on those bargains
Supermarkets use a lot of tricks to catch shoppers unaware. It isn’t because they are evil corporations, they are just very savvy at making you think you are getting a bargain when you really aren’t.
One of the tricks used in the past was to increase the price of an item temporarily, just so they could then decrease it and advertise it as a saving. Pretty sneaky really when you consider the new reduced price was often higher than it was before the false increase.
You can use a percent decrease calculator to work out how much you are truly saving on these so-called bargains. If you need to know how to calculate percentage decrease then a simple online calculator can help.
This can help to work out if you are making a decrease in your expenses.
Choose the right mobile phone contract
This is a simple method for making sure you never spend more on your mobile phone than you need to.
Some people love sending texts, others prefer to use Messenger. While others only want to make calls.
Well, you all know those fancy contracts that mobile providers offer with the promise of free minutes and messages? Many people get enticed by contracts that will never benefit them.
When you are searching for a new contract, simply consider what you use your phone for. If you text constantly and rarely call, then don’t be enticed by free minutes. Look for something with a minimum of 1000 texts included.
Learn how to budget properly
This may sound obvious, and you may already do it, but the fact is that millions of people do not understand how to budget.
It is perhaps a skill that should be taught at school, and perhaps some do. However, many people leave and head into the adult world with no basic financial skills.
Firstly, you need to be honest. There is no point in trying to fool yourself that you spend less than you do, or that you will increase your income when you cannot.
Gather all your financial details, this means all your bills, outgoings, and debt responsibilities.
Work out your income. Work out your expenses. This very simple piece of maths will let you see where you are financially speaking.
If your expenditure is less than what you have coming in, then congratulations. You could find that you can put up some extra money. If however, your outgoings are more than your income then you have to look at ways to change.
Look at which expenses can be cut. Look at which debts have the highest amount of interest, and concentrate on those first.
If debt is an issue then look for help from one of the many agencies such as Citizens Advice.
Find extra work
Another easy thing to suggest, but perhaps it doesn’t seem so practical in real life. After all, there are only a certain number of hours in the day.
However, there are some ways to make income on the side without draining all of your time. Some of the better side hustles you can begin in 2022 are online. If you are paying for the internet every month, then why not make it pay for itself?
Dropshipping is still a viable option in 2022 and requires literally no investment but some time. Dropshipping simply means that you use a third party to fulfil orders that you take online.
This means that you make a small profit on everything you sell while never actually having to hold any stock. Therefore there is no risk.
Other viable remote working jobs include writing guest posts, editing online, proof-reading, data-entry, or just selling off unwanted belongings on eBay for some extra cash.
Learn when to shop at the different supermarkets
As a former employee of Tesco and Sainsbury, it is known that there are better times to find bargains than others.
Finding out when the discount stickers get added to food items is a great way to save cash on your shop. Very often, discounted food lasts for a long time afterward. This is especially true for fruit that hasn’t even ripened before its best before date.
One thing that is difficult to plan around though, is the different floor managers. Some instruct their colleagues to discount small percentages, while others allow bigger bargains to shift produce and other food.
Another trick you may not know is that the staff who discount food in supermarkets sometimes hide them behind newer items. This is because they plan to purchase them when they clock out. This is told by an experienced supermarket worker.
It sure isn’t easy to save money these days with prices increasing all the time. There are still some tricks and tips to get vouchers and discounts though.
When it comes to saving, putting up small amounts can seem depressing and pointless. However, this will build up over time and genuinely is worth doing.
The Independent reported that one-fifth of adults have less than £100 in savings. This is quite frightening when you consider all the things that can go wrong in life such as a car breaking down, or a new boiler is needed.
If you come up with any ways to save money or make extra on the side, then share them around. Everyone can hope that 2022 will be an easier year than the last two.