Cost of Living Crisis: What Should WTF Do?

This is a guest post written by Financielle, for pitch content please email [email protected]

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ll see headlines about the cost of living crisis, but what can we really do about it?

When things get overwhelming and you don’t feel like you have much control, it’s easier to carry on as you are. When it comes to our money, there are some simple strategies we can adopt that can help us regain some control.

What is the cost of living crisis?

In its simplest form, a cost of living crisis refers to a drop in real disposable income, meaning that our spending is increasing but our wages and benefits are not – or at least is not at the same rate. This has been made worse by recent tax hikes.

We have seen a rise in the cost of energy, food and fuel stores – with prices rising faster than they have been in 40 years, and the Bank of England predicts energy prices in particular will push inflation to 13%.

The price increase is impacting the items we need every day. If you open a restaurant, drive a car, or pay your energy bills, you’ve probably noticed an increase in these costs over the past few months and it’s not going to stop anytime soon.

How will it affect me?

While everyone will struggle during the cost of living crisis, it’s important to point out some ways in which women will be hit harder than men.

Women are often the victims of price shocks, as they are more likely to manage budgets, open restaurants and even pay household bills. Women are having to decide between what food their families can afford, while making sure they have enough money to fuel their cars and pay their heating bills.

All of this is being targeted by consumer brands to share their hard earned money. Society expects us to be beautified, dressed according to the latest trends, and free of fluff and all of this comes at a cost – especially when you’re taxing on the pink.

This is the cause of already unfair financial gaps, such as the gender pay gap, where women are paid just 90p for £1 earned by men, and the gender pension gap, where women are Women can expect to receive a pension of £100,000 less than men at retirement.

During the cost of living crisis, if you are pregnant or looking to have a baby soon, you will not receive the increase in SMP (statutory maternity pay), at £156.66 a week and if If you are a single parent, you will not receive an increase in child support payments, although household outflows will increase.

This is all a lot of doom and gloom and there are a lot of factors beyond our individual control. However, you can focus on the things you can control, and we’ve created a helpful list for you:

1. Know your numbers – budget first!

You have to pay attention to even the most basic numbers – we need to locate you now. Take the time to create a budget: you’ll need four categories: Income, Fixed Expense, Sunk Fund, and Flexible Expense.

Earnings = earnings: all income comes from household

Fixed costs: all fixed expenses – usually your automatic bank payments – such as bills and subscriptions

Fund Sinking: an amount of money you accumulate for anticipated expenses, such as transportation, car insurance, travel, or home repairs

Flexible cost: all flexible or variable expenses, such as food, groceries, fuel, or gifts.

Using apps and your bank statement, collect all your logins and financial paperwork and try to make the first “budget”, filling in the categories with numbers the money you estimate that you spend right now.

You can use Finance app budget planner to make your first budget – otherwise, a piece of paper will do.

2. Squeeze the budget

Now, we will try to tighten the budget. What can you cut from your budget to make it at least balanced i.e. reach 0? This means cutting out any unnecessary costs, such as subscriptions you don’t really need, negotiating and securing better deals on things like broadband or your car insurance – optimize the cost you have.

We need creative and imaginative solutions here – sometimes it’s not as simple as cutting Netflix and that’s enough. It could be changing interests, extending the time between beauty appointments, or sharing an entertainment account with friends or family.

Join our free MOT Money in the Learn section of Financielle app for tips on how to tighten your budget.

3. Focus on food and drink

For many of us, food is our love language, and spending money on food brings us joy, whether it’s dining out, weekend drinks, or weekend getaways. New recipes that we want to try at home.

We’re not here to tell you that cutting back on iced coffee or butter in your toast will get you through the storm, but there are ways to save money without feeling like you’re missing out. My pleasure:

  • Be Savvy Supermarket: If you feel guilty squeezing into the Tesco Express and Waitrose Mini for groceries, it’s time to dig into the supermarket. Convenience stores like this charge a premium because they’re there to serve you when you’re at your worst. How many times have you gone to buy milk and brought a snack basket, a tree, and some Ben and Jerry’s? Go to bigger supermarkets like Aldi, Lidl and Tesco to earn more.
  • Create a food budget: When doing your weekly store, do you come to pay and hope to have enough money to cover it? We were all there praying the payment was approved but what if there was another way? Sitting down at the beginning of each month to determine how much you want to spend on grocery shopping will keep you on track.
  • Meal planning is key: If you go to a supermarket hoping to find food inspiration, think again. You are preparing yourself for failure and the possibility of being distracted by whatever the supermarket wants to sweep you off the middle aisle. Take a moment to sit down and plan your weekly grocery store meals. Top tips: Putting a weekly meal plan on the fridge for you to see will help keep you on track.
  • Meal preparation: Mass production of servings is a popular way to cut food spending and reduce food waste. This may mean repeated meals throughout the week, but if you’re looking to cut your costs, this might be for you! TikTok and Instagram have thousands of ‘how-to’ videos and weekly meal prep inspiration. Top tips: Shop your cupboards first, you’ll likely have your cupboard essentials like pasta, rice, pesto, and some frozen vegetables hidden in the freezer. Some people tend to “stock up” what they have in their closet so they never buy too much.
  • Skip Deliveroo Midweek: Remember when takeout was a treat for special occasions or a truly disgustingly delicious meal? Now, thanks to UberEats and Deliveroo, casual meal delivery has become the norm for many. Why not see if you can forgo convenient delivery over handling? Top tips: With some money in your budget for takeout, you’re more likely not to overspend and enjoy the food you’ve been waiting for!
  • Make a bargain – save the planet: Apps like Olio and Toogoodtogo can help you find bargains from the local community or popular street eateries like Greggs and Costa. Using these apps can help you kill two birds with one stone – guaranteeing a bargain and helping to reduce food waste.

4. Don’t ignore the increase in energy prices

We’ve never had to experience energy price spikes like these – but they are here and they’re not going away anytime soon. If you can at least face the problem and control what you can control, you’ll be in a much better position than if you pretended it didn’t happen.

Things are changing by the day, but you can find an up-to-date summary in Financielle apptells you what the energy price limit is, helps you decide whether to fix it or make a change, and shares what help is there if you’re having a hard time paying your energy bill.

Top tips: Review your winter budget ahead of time and consider putting extra money aside (if you can) into an emergency energy backup fund, especially if you decide not to fix it and instead keep it at the same level. tax changes.

Feeling a little better?

We accept the cost of living crisis as a rather bleak topic. It’s time to take a breath, reflect on what’s going on, and make a plan of action. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic overhaul of your life, but creating a plan will give you a sense of control over the situation we’re all facing.

If you haven’t created a budget before and feel a bit overwhelmed, you can download it Financielle app and learn how to create your first.

Follow Financielle above Instagram, TikTok and Twitter for more help!

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