BLOG: Millennial Money Matters
Our 4Youth Community provides some useful tips and tricks to keep on top of the climbing price of living.
The effects of the cost-of-living crisis are cross-generational, but the under-30s are likely to be among the hardest hit (The Guardian, 2022).
This year has seen the highest rates of inflation for 40 years. The result is that many of us now live their lives day by day, penny by penny – wrapped up in blankets and debating whether we can really afford to go out this weekend.
On a serious note – many of us are sacrificing ‘luxuries’ such as the morning lattes; with clothing, holidays, entertainment and, astonishingly, electronics coming close behind (FT, 2022).
Over half of young women surveyed said they were “filled with dread” when thinking about household finances in 2022 (Young Women’s Trust, 2022). They are not disappointed at having to give up their Netflix subscription – they are struggling to make ends meet (Refinery, 2022)
“Over half of young women surveyed said they were “filled with dread” when thinking about household finances in 2022 (Young Women’s Trust, 2022). ”
If you relate to any of the above, you’re not alone.
To help, here are some useful tips and tricks to keep on top of the climbing price of living.
Rethink your Bills: Starting with you Mobile Phone
It’s never a nice feeling seeing those monthly broadband and/or phone bill come out, and being left there thinking ‘surely it’s not this time of the month again?’ If you’re nearing the end of your contract (or can ‘buy yourself out’), it’s worthwhile exploring potentially better value options.
For broadband, Virgin Media offer great flexible student deals. With average download speeds of up to 516Mbps available, you and your pals can get the speed and flexibility you need.
For mobile, O2 just launched a brand new Rolling Plan. It’s essentially a pay monthly contract, but without the contract, and you can leave anytime. O2 also offer a tonne of benefits too, like full access to O2 Priority – free coffee and Thursday pints, anyone? – as well as international data and minutes. Customers are in control, free to change or stop their plan anytime, with no minimum commitment period. You can also carry up to 100% of your unused allowance, so you’re never left ‘out of pocket’ – or tied into a contract.
Negotiate that Salary
If you haven’t had a pay rise this year, ask your employer if your earnings could increase in line with inflation. Make sure that you are getting paid the minimum wage. If there are any hours you spend working that aren’t accounted for in your pay (such as preparing for an event), speak up!
Start that Side Hustle
Try think of how you can make money from home. You could consider doing easy tasks that can earn you extra cash in your spare time. These include doing paid online surveys or freelancing. Get the thinking cap on.
Sell Those Clothes
Do you have any old belongings that you no longer need or want? You could try selling them to earn a bit of extra cash. That jacket that you “promise that you’ll wear at some point”, or that jumper you haven’t worn in 3 months; why don’t you sell them on and pocket the cash?
Platforms such as Vinted and Depop are great for cashing in on those unnecessary extras.
Set a Budget
Keeping to a budget is often easier said than done, but it can make such a difference.
If you struggle to stick to a budget, an approach that could take is using an app-based bank account as a second account. Calculate how much you can afford to spend (this could be weekly/monthly) and set up a standing order to send that amount of money to another app-based account. Only use that card when out and about. This helps you keep track of your spending, and you’ll immediately know how much you have left to spend that month.
Get on the Meal Prep Hype
Meal planning for the week helps fight off the temptation to pick up those expensive ready meals or over-buying foods that you don’t use. Also, instead of sticking with brands you know when shopping, try downshifting to a budget food range, and you could save a fair amount of money. Don’t forget those yellow-sticker bargains too.
Of course, sometimes cooking isn’t an option, for time reasons or otherwise. If that’s the case, there are brilliant apps to help you save money on food. Here are some examples:
- Olio – For free food, try Olio. Find people nearby giving away food to avoid it going to waste.
- Approved Food – This site sells food past its best before date (but not use-by date) at reduced prices.
- Too Good To Go – Buy food from local cafes/restaurants that would go to waste otherwise.