Goodness knows, we’re only just into a new year but maybe it already feels as if you’re hitting your head against a brick wall, at least where money’s concerned.
If 2021 was a year when you were furloughed and just couldn’t live on the money you were getting or, a relationship broke up and you’re far worse off financially, it’s easy to think that life’s getting really hard. Maybe you ran your own business but it took a huge hit during the pandemic (and maybe you still haven’t recovered). If so, don’t despair….read on.
It’s rarely easy having a reduced income – okay, some people manage perfectly well and cut down on what they realised were little luxuries, but for a lot of us, it’s hard-going when we know we’ve got to economise and give up stuff that made life that bit better.
You don’t need me to give you loads of tips – there are lot of money-saving blogs you can read but what I do want to emphasise is that it doesn’t all have to be hard work. If you can work out a budget and allow for a few emergencies (new school shoes, an unexpected birthday) and try to keep to that, it’s a good start.
I’m not sure how you feel about this, but if you can stretch to lunch with a couple of friends, try to put it to them that you haven’t got vast amounts of money and would like to pay for your own lunch rather than split the bill equally. I say this from experience, having been to meals where someone has had a starter, main course and dessert as well as a glass of wine and a coffee to finish with, whilst I’ve had a pizza and salad, along with tap water. How is splitting the bill and paying half the total fair in that case? Well, it’s not and although it takes courage to speak up, it’s possible that your friend didn’t think about it before you said something. If they’re peeved, try not to get upset about it – it’s not a crime to be short of money, and no-one should have to suffer embarrassment because of it.
A lot of money-saving blogs emphasise walking, cycling or taking the bus to save money on transport. This is a great idea if there’s plenty of public transport available but if you live in a rural area it’s not so easy so don’t beat yourself up if you have to take the car. Look online to see the cheapest petrol in your area and fill up when you’re going past the garage rather than making a special journey to get it.
Anything that you manage to save on, put the amount into an old coffee jar or tin…..it all mounts up.
Having said that, one thing that can really help is if you can give yourself a small reward if you keep to your budget. Just a large coffee in a nice coffee shop is enough to keep you going when you’re really trying hard to get by.
When you’re passing a shop, or shops, and there are some gorgeous things in the window, ask yourself “Do I really need that?” before you go in and buy something.
Sell any of your old or practically unused items on FB or eBay – every little helps. In fact, that could be your new mantra this year!
So, I have given you a few tips, but hopefully not too many to have made this a boring read. Some of these are things that I’ve found work for me, so I hope that you find them helpful without being overwhelming.
Lastly, let me know what you think! If you’ve found this blog interesting or otherwise, let me know.
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