This last year has been a particularly difficult year for many people as the majority of the population have been living in and out of lockdowns with their places of work being opened and then closed again every few months. This has left a lot of people feeling financially unstable and many people are struggling as they’re earning much less than they’re used to. Whilst only the end of the pandemic can allow the economy to boom again and to help lessen the unemployability number, many people have been unable to wait for this and have found side hobbies to make money. Many people have learned a new craft and sold their products, whether this is learning how to bake and selling birthday cakes or if you’re a painter with more time to paint so you’re selling some of your art, all types of art have been successful. Others have found work from home jobs in a new field, some people have learned about the stock market and others have learned how to code, all to earn an extra income. If you’re struggling but don’t have the time or equipment to create a side income, then you can still trim down your expenses and make managing your money much easier.
Look at your contracts
Every single month people overpay for things that they don’t necessarily need or could easily live with a cheaper version of. For example, if you have the newest cell phone with unlimited data, texts and minutes then you’re likely paying around $80+ every month when if you need to cut costs you could purchase an older phone with a contact that just has the data, texts, and calls that you need. Another example of a contact that you’re overpaying for is your broadband, whilst you might have the fastest broadband at the minute, if you don’t work from home and just use your internet for YouTube videos and social media then you don’t need the fastest broadband and could get a cheaper one. Sometimes, however, broadband companies can make it difficult to leave so if you’re unsure how to cancel your broadband contract early then give it a quick google search and there will likely be a forum about your provider.
Most people think that if they stop ordering takeout food then their budget will drop drastically, however, this isn’t the case as sometimes you can go grocery shopping and spend more on meals than you would if you ordered a takeout. The best way to cut back here is to do some research and find some nice cheap meals that you’d enjoy and head to the shop with a plan. Decide on a Saturday what you’re going to eat the following week so when you go for your weekly shop you won’t spend over your budget. If you’re struggling to find cheap meals then there are many inspiring recipes online and many YouTubers have created videos of them doing a cheap shop and showing what meals they prepare with the food too.
Find free Hobbies and Days out
Another huge expense in your budget will be leisure, every time people want to hang out with their friends it usually involves spending money. Whether you’re buying a bottle of wine for drinks at home or going out for an expensive meal, leisurely activities also involve some sort of cost. To save some money in this area of your life then you can look out for free fun activities for you and your friends, your local drama group may put on a free production of a show or your local coffee shop might have an open mic night where you can see the local talent. By making swaps like this you can still enjoy things like live music without the hefty cost of a gig ticket.
If you really need to trim down your expenses then trying to reduce the biggest cost is the best way to do this. Most people’s largest monthly expense is their rent or their mortgage, if this is the case with you then there are a couple of options on how you could trim this down. If you have a spare room in your home then you could either find a roommate to occupy it or you could advertise it on a website like Air B&B, this way you’ll either split the rent with someone or have additional income to put towards the rent from visitors who stay. If you don’t love the thought of sharing your house with someone then you can downsize where you live so your monthly expenses will be lower. If you have a family and can’t downsize then you could look for a similar house in a cheaper area until you’re back on your feet.