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If I've learned anything by moving out of my parents' house, I've learned that getting by on very little money in this day and age is hard, but it's not impossible.
It happens to all of us at some point in our lives, crisis after crisis and we worry if we're still going to have a roof over our heads this time next month. It might not be much but here's a little list of things to help you save a bit of money and still manage to get through until next payday.
When you get paid, the first thing on your mind is what you want to go spend it on. You probably run straight to the shop and fill a bag with snacks, or phone your mates to make plans for the night. And then, you’re almost skint the next day!
That's why you need to plan ahead. Before your pay day, write a list of what needs paying. Once you have done this you can work out how much you will be left to play with without dipping into the rent money.
2. Keep an eye out for bargains.
It sounds like an obvious one, but not many people seem to think of it. When you're doing your weekly/monthly food shop, don't go to the expensive supermarket and splash out loads of cash just to ensure you have a four course meal every day.
Go for what you can afford. I know it may seem boring surviving off of three-minute noodles, pasta and any other survival foods you get. But, it's better than not eating at all or running out of money and not being able to get anything else.
3. Don't eat out!
It might seem like a good idea because it means you're not using your own electricity. But, it's costing you more! Whether you're having a takeaway night, or going to a restaurant, you could save a lot by just eating at home.
Make it a treat when you do eat out, make sure all your priorities are sorted before and then you can have a lovely meal with the leftovers.
4. Save electricity.
Yeah, I said it.
One thing I know nearly everyone does, even if we can't afford it, is spend hours using technology which costs us a ton in electric bills. The best suggestion for this would be to limit your usage of the TV, maybe read a book, or play a board game.
I know this sounds old-fashioned, right? Well, it's a way to spend less and you could even take advantage of your library's computer rather than using your own. Also, it might be a good idea to look into the different electricity providers in your area, there might be a more affordable one available.
5. Enjoy the freebies.
Take advantage of any chance you get to have a free meal. I don't mean go into shops and fill your pockets with items, though. It may seem tempting when you don't have any money, but that's just going to make things worse. If a friend or family member invites you over, take the chance. One meal out of the way, and it didn't cost you a thing. There are also many places online where you can get free samples and money off vouchers which you will find some below.
Like I said, this is only going to be a small list of things, but all of them will help you to save a little and keep on top of your money a bit better. I am going to be posting more articles on the subject in the future such as the different support you can get when you’re struggling and other ways you can make your life a bit easier to afford.