It’s 2023 and it goes without saying that the cost of living crisis has massively affected every single household financially. This of course changed the way individuals spend their money and their lifestyle choice. This may leave many feeling concerned about ways to make it through each month. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid inflation, but there are ways to cope during price hikes.
So here are few tips that people can adopt to accommodate the price hikes and survive as the cost of living rises.
1. Canceling regular payments you don’t need
Review your subscriptions, look at every subscription payment going out the bank and ask yourself if you used the service in the last month. If so, is the cost worth the usage? For example, if you pay Virgin Active gym membership but you’ve only been there once in the last month, then it might be better to save that money and commit to home workouts. Subscriptions such as Netflix accounts can be cut by sharing streaming subscriptions within a household, or among friends.
2. Make regular rain checks – you don’t have to go out every weekend.
Identify what your fixed costs are – like mortgage or rent, energy, food and transport and set aside that amount every month. Then start looking at how often you drive your car, go shopping or eat out with friends or family. Evaluate if all those mentioned are necessary. Try opting for things such as; buying in bulk with fewer trips to save on fuel and taxi money, shopping around for the cheapest local supermarket, or cooking at home for friends or your family to save the extra costs of take-outs.
3. Meal plans
Meal prepping is planning your meals out for the week. It helps you know exactly what you need to buy and in what quantity. This in turn reduces the amount spent on groceries, saving you money and also less food wastage. Make a seven-day chart and choose what meals will be made each day. Use websites like BBC Good Food to help with ideas, recipes and accessing quantities. Cooking once or twice a week does not only save on food but also on electricity usage.
4. Save on groceries
Similar to the above, try changing supermarkets to a cheaper one to save on groceries. One may also consider switching from well known brands and consider getting the supermarket’s own brand one which will save you a few dollars. A good example is Ritebrand. Additionally, one should also cut out non-essentials such as snacks, cool drinks and unnecessary food.
5. Being more vigilant with electricity
Furthermore, using less electricity can help decrease your monthly electrical bill. Here are ways you can decrease electrical usage;
- Opting for shorter showers instead of baths
- Turning off the lights and appliances when not in use
- Turning off ‘vampire devices’: these are devices that drain energy while they’re off such as TV decoders and PCs on sleep mode
- Opening the windows or using fans instead of using air-conditioners
- Optimize appliance usage: reduce the number of times you use the dishwasher or washing machine. Make sure it’s a full load before turning them on.
6. Prepaid water
Similarly, water usage can either save or cost you a lot of money. Save more water and money on your water bill by trying prepaid water meters which operates on the same principle as prepaid electricity meters offered by the municipality. A 20-digit code is issued upon purchase of water units and, if entered into the Customer Interface Unit, allows the prepaid water meter to discharge the volume of water which was purchased. According to the municipality, the benefits of the prepaid water service connection are that they allow you to take full control of your water consumption and prevent overspending.
7. Side hustle
Lastly, one cannot stress this point enough, inflation is too high for people to have only one source of income. Think of skills you have that you can put to good use and what hobbies can you turn into an income stream. If you have spare time that you can use to make some extra cash, why not use it? Braiding, baking, cooking, tutoring and crafting are a few of many ways to make some extra money on the side.
Ultimately, try to save and earn as much as you possibly can in order to live comfortably. Try saving by avoiding unnecessary expenses, such as fast foods and going out. Most importantly, be vigilant about water and electrical usage.