The cost-of-living crisis has hit the UK hard, and more people than ever may be stricter with their household budget. If you’re in this position and need to live on a budget, how can you become more frugal? The guide below looks at top 10 tips for living on a budget and how to save money where you can!
Set your budget.
The first thing you should do is plan out your money. Knowing how much of your income is going where and towards what is key. First factor out any bills you need to pay, these are essential bills only such as rent, mortgage, electricity, gas etc. Then set aside money to put in your savings account and then see what’s left over. If you find yourself tight each month, our top tips below will be able to help you save money where you can.
Pay off your debts.
Paying down your debt may seem impossible, spending on how much you have to pay off. However, working towards paying off your debt is beneficial. Once you’ve consolidated your debt, you will then have more money to put towards your savings goal instead. If you’re struggling to keep on top of your debt, you can contact the National Debtline for advice.
Secure car finance.
A strict budget can make it hard to save up a lump sum payment for a car, especially if you need a vehicle in a hurry. If you’re on a tight budget, you can consider car finance or even a car loan for someone on benefit income. Car finance is much more accessible than it used to be, but you will need to meet the lenders criteria first before you could be approved.
Buy second hand.
Buying second hand doesn’t have to mean old and unwanted items! Pre-loved clothes, phones, games, toys, shoes can all still be great quality without the higher price tag. Buying second hand also helps to protects the environment and reduces waste. If you’re buying online, don’t be scared to ask the seller for supporting images or videos of a product to clarify its condition is you’re unsure.
Plan your meals.
A weekly food mean can be a good way to only shop for what food you need. This helps to reduce the amount of food waste and makes weeknights much easier. Get the whole family involved and make their favourite meals. Buying supermarkets own brand food can help you save money and batch cooking your meals can be a great way to save time and money!
Make your home eco-friendlier.
There are so many ways in which you can reduce your energy usage and make your home eco-friendlier. Turn all appliances and lighting off in your home when you’re not using them as energy consumptions is one of the easiest ways to be spending money you don’t need to. You can also consider things like switching to energy efficient light bulbs and technologies. Insulating your home with added materials in the loft and walls can have an initial cost but can save you money in the long run.
Download and use loyalty apps when shopping.
More supermarkets and retailers are adopting smartphone apps which offer rewards to customers when shopping. It can depend on which supermarket you sue but many use a points or rewards scheme when you shop and can result in cashback or money off the next time you shop!
Travel during offseason.
Traveling during UK school holidays and over weekends can be the most expensive time to go, especially if you have a family. However, if your personal circumstances will allow it travelling out of season can mean big savings! Months that are early in the year such as January and February can be the cheapest months to travel, and you can get better deals when you fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday too!
Work out at home.
Many people overlook the benefits of working out at home. Ditch the expensive gym membership and invest in some weights instead. You can have access to thousands of home workout videos for free through YouTube. You’ll not need to spend any money on fuel or public transport to get to the gym either!
Decide what is essential.
Many of us get wrapped up in what modern society classes as essential to our lives, whether it’s your daily coffee or buying your lunch each day, there are many things we spend money on mindlessly. Try to be strict with what you actually need to class as essential to your life and your budget should comfortably fall into place.