We’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis and budgets are more squeezed than ever. We’re all looking for ways to make our paycheques go further.
This is easier said than done. Prices are rising and wages aren’t increasing enough to keep up with these hikes.
When the money saving expert himself – Martin Lewis – says he’s out of ideas, you know there isn’t much we can do. The Spring Statement was very disappointing in many ways. These 5 tips won’t change your life, but hopefully they can help cut down your expenses enough to keep you in the green each month. If they allow you to keep saving some money, even better!
My top 5 tips to make your paycheque go further are:
- Use cashback sites
- Club together to shop
- Use libraries to your advantage
- Make the most of freebies
- Talk to your employer
1. Use cashback sites
Cashback sites are great if you’re looking to make your paycheque go further. Essentially, you get money back whenever you spend, without having to do anything. All you have to do is make sure you go through the cashback site.
My personal favourite is Jam Doughnut. The app is so easy to use and so many shops are on it.
Sign up via this link and use my referral code N2FM to get started! Let me know how you find the app.
2. Club together to shop
Buying in bulk can be a really good way to save some cash.
However, if you’re strapped for cash you might not be able to afford to do this. To still benefit from the bulk discounts, could you club together with housemates or neighbours to bulk buy and then split the purchases?
Yes, this could be a bit of a faff and is not ideal. But, it may work for some.
If you’re planning on trying out this method, make sure you set some clear boundaries first. How much is each person paying and how much can each person use? Agree this and stick to it to avoid arguments down the line!
3. Use libraries to your advantage
Libraries are for far more than just borrowing books – although if you love reading, they’re a great way to save some extra cash.
Libraries have free internet access, computers, charging points, classes and more. Anyone can take advantage of all these benefits, so do see what your local library has to offer. You will need to sign up for a membership card for some of the benefits – and to borrow books.
If you’re really struggling and can’t afford much heating, for example, you’ll find a warm space you can spend time in (within opening hours).
4. Make the most of freebies
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but with Olio there might just be.
Olio allows you to both post unwanted items and request them from people in your neighbourhood. In many places, volunteers collect food approaching its use by date from supermarkets. This means there can be a lot of items up for grabs. You may well be able to get a few meals for free every week or so.
Another option to try to make your paycheque go further is Too Good to Go. It’s not technically free. But, you can usually get a very big discount on the food from your favourite restaurants and cafes.
You pay £5 and receive a random assortment of items. This can be worth up to £30 or more, but can be less. It can be a bit hit and miss. Sometimes you may get your favourite items, other times you might get things you don’t like.
It may be harder to use if you have allergies too.
5. Talk to your employer
This one is not guaranteed to work. But, it is always worth a try. Explain the cost of living crisis and your increases in daily expenses (they’ll almost certainly already know!) and ask for a pay rise to help you manage the difference.
If you’ve only just joined a company, you are probably unlikely to get much. Your employer will likely claim they have already factored inflation into your salary.
However, if you have been at your company a while and haven’t had a pay rise for a while, you may be able to negotiate a salary increase.
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Did you know I offer freelance writing services and personal finance workshops and talks for schools, workplaces and organisations? I also regularly feature in the media. Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on Twitter @Katie20Percent if you’d like to find out more.
If you found this post about how to make your paycheque go further, please share it with your friends and on social media? What are your top tips for making your paycheque go further? Comment below – I’d love to hear your thoughts!