We didn’t want to write *another* cost of living crisis blog, but unfortunately the rising energy, fuel and food prices aren’t going away and it’s highly anticipated that the UK is heading for a recession. Whilst it feels a bit doom and gloom there are positive & proactive things you can do to help your situation. Here are a few.
When it comes to debt, and managing money, knowledge is power. So, we thought it was worth doing a bit of a recap on some of the latest initiatives designed to help you minimise your outgoings, as we continue to navigate a squeeze on household income and an increase on expenses.
If you’re finding things tough at the moment, you’re not alone. The Yorkshire Building Society’s Inflation Nation report of 4000 households found that 74% of people think the cost of living crisis will have a negative effect on them. Additionally the Office for National Statistics report into rising cost of living found nearly 1 in 4 adults said it was ‘very difficult’ or ‘difficult’ to pay their regular household bills compared to March last year.
Maximise your income
It’s easy to say ‘get a better paid job’ but circumstances don’t always allow that. However, maximising your income means looking at how you can make what you’ve got go further. By scheduling some time to check you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to, switching providers where relevant, and reviewing all direct debits (we all have some we don’t know about) you can make your income go further. Turn2Us have a great benefits calculator on their website that you can try here
Budget for the nicer things
Firstly, you have to budget for the things that bring you pleasure. When we’re working with clients doing an IVA, we know it’s completely unrealistic to say you won’t spend anything at all on going out & entertaining. Yes it’s not a necessity compared to heating your house, but it is essential to living your life. So we encourage our clients (and you) to budget for it sensibly.
Cut small costs
The smaller things are often easier to cut out, the weekly coffee, the taxi home, lose an entertainment subscription. Before you know it you’ve saved £30 and this could be the difference between paying off – or accruing more – debt.
Know new initiatives
In the latest budget announcement there is some small relief for homeowners in the form of grants and relief payments, our good friends at Money Saving Expert have a nice summary here for you. Knowing what you’re entitled to, or where you might get a break, will help you reallocate some funds to other expenses.
If you’ve built up debt, or your outgoings are more than your income, you aren’t going to become debt free overnight. But it is possible to make a plan to tackle this, and having a sustainable realistic plan for addressing debt makes it manageable and achievable.
These are all small steps to making changes, but consistency with small changes is often the best place to start.
If you are worried about debt please don’t suffer alone. Our advisors are always happy to talk to you about further options, give us a call on 0800 856 8569