Are you feeling the pinch of the high cost of living in the UK? Don't worry, you're not alone. Navigating the expenses can be challenging, but fear not! We're here to equip you with practical money-saving tips that will help you not just survive but thrive in the face of the high cost of living.
Tip 1: Track. Budget. Automate.
Tracking your spending and creating a budget is one of the most important money-saving tips for anyone, especially for Filipino nurses in the UK who may be living on a tight budget. Knowing exactly where your money is going allows you to find areas for savings and make the necessary changes to help you reach your financial objectives.
To get started, begin by tracking all of your expenses for a month. Nowadays, there are apps available that can help you do this. Automate the tracking. But if you want to do it your way, you can use MS Excel app or simply write it down. In your tracker, write every pound you spend, from rent and bills to coffee and snacks. Once you understand how your spending pattern works, categorize your expenses.
Then create a budget that works for you. This may involve setting limits on certain categories or prioritizing your expenses based on your needs. For example, you may need to allocate more money towards rent and bills and cut back on unnecessary expenses like entertainment or dining out. Remember to be realistic with your budget and to leave some room for unexpected expenses. You may also want to set aside some money for savings or emergency funds. An ideal goal for an emergency fund is 6 months worth of your monthly salary.
Do your best to always stick with your budget. The important thing is to keep focused on your financial goals and prioritize your expenses while making any necessary modifications along the road.
Overall, tracking your spending and creating a budget can help you achieve financial stability and avoid debt. This might require lots of effort and discipline but the results are certainly worth it. By taking control of your finances and making smart decisions with your money, you can live comfortably and confidently as a UKRN.
"Back then, I did not have any control with my money. I honestly did not know where my money went and has caused me a lot of stress. When I moved to the UK, to ensure my money goes to the right places, I start tracking and automating my bills and savings. Since I know now where it's going to, I became more conscious with my spending habits and am now less stressed."- Jon
Tip 2: Plan Your Meals
How many times do you usually go to the grocery store to buy food? Did you know that planning your meals and doing your grocery shopping only once or twice a week are two strategies to save money?
Planning your meals keeps you from making impulsive purchases and guarantees that you have everything you need to make nutritious, home-cooked meals for the entire week.
Make a grocery list based on the ingredients needed on your planned meals. Plan your meals for the coming week in advance. It is important to consider your schedule and your dietary needs. Use whatever ingredients you currently have on hand.
Aim to shop only once per week. Always stick with your list to avoid unnecessary purchases. Be on the lookout for sales and discounts. Consider buying items in bulk. You may consider buying fresh produce in season so it will be less expensive.
You can chop vegetables, marinate meat, or even cook entire meals and freeze them for later. This saves you time during the week and also helps reduce food waste.
If you don't fancy cooking, take advantage too of apps such as Too Good to Go and Olio where you can buy unsold food or meals from various retailers at a discounted price. Supporting these apps are a good way of saving money and planet Earth.
So what are you waiting for? Who wouldn’t want to have more time and less stress that will allow you to focus more on your work or other priorities, right?
"Since I don't like cooking, I tend to rely on fast foods, cafes or restaurants for my meals. Good thing I found Too Good to Go app. I can have access to good food at a very reasonable price and the best part is-- I'm helping the environment too!"- Anna
Tip 3: Turn off appliances when not in use.
Always turn off appliances especially lights when not in use. This applies to both traditional light bulbs and energy-efficient LED bulbs. Remember, every minute that a light is left on unnecessarily is wasting electricity and adding to your bill.
Even in standby mode, electronic devices can still draw power and contribute to your energy consumption.
To make it easier to manage, consider using power strips with switches. This way, you can turn off multiple devices at once by simply flipping a switch. It's especially useful for areas with many devices, like your entertainment centre or home office.
Another tip is to take advantage of natural light whenever possible. Open curtains and blinds to let sunlight in during the day, and rely on natural lighting instead of turning on artificial lights. This will definitely save you money and also create an inviting ambience in your home.
Tip 4: Heat the human-- consider layering and use of portable heaters
A good useful tip we found on Moneysavingexpert.com is "Heat the Human not the Home". One can use layering of clothes, hand warmers, socks and warm bottles.
Layering of clothes is proven to be effective-- you can use thermal tops and leggings as the base layer then have fleece lined jacket as the outer layer.
Another good option especially if you're only using one or two rooms in your house, consider using a portable heater.
"I work from home a lot. Considering I'm the only one in the house for most of the day, I found it very expensive to turn on the heating of the house. Instead of turning it on, I will just wear 3 layers of clothing and use my ever reliable heated blanket. It saved us a lot of money."- Jenny
Tip 5: Take Advantage of Discounts and charity shops
If you are working with NHS or emergency services, consider the Blue Light benefits. This site offers a wide array of exclusive discounts and savings in various categories like clothing, electronics, travel, dining and a whole lot more.
Shopping in charity shops can also be a good way to save money.
"We just moved house and instead of buying a brand dining set, we decided to go to charity shops. That was one of the best decisions we did- instead of spending thousand pounds, we were able to purchase an antique dining set in a charity shop in Hertfordshire for £400." -- Maria
Tip 6: Use Public Transportation
If you want to save on expenses, public transport may be an option for you, it is more cost-effective than owning a car. It reduces the expense of transportation, parking, insurance, and maintenance costs. Additionally, opting for a bicycle or walking for shorter distances can further reduce transportation expenses. Public transportation offers various fare options, saving you money on commuting. It also eliminates the hassles of finding parking spaces and dealing with car maintenance. Furthermore, using public transportation promotes environmental sustainability and provides opportunities for productive use of travel time.
Tip 7: Cut Back On Unnecessary Expenses
Cutting back on unnecessary expenses is a vital strategy for managing the high cost of living in the UK and saving money. Start by reviewing your expenses and identifying areas where you can make cuts. This includes examining your bank statements, credit card bills, and receipts to understand where your money is going. Look for non-essential spending, such as dining out frequently, subscriptions you don't use, or impulse purchases, and trim those costs.
Tip 8: Learn Basic DIY and Repairs
Learning basic DIY skills for repairs and maintenance tasks is a valuable way to save money in the UK. By handling simple fixes yourself, you can avoid costly professional fees. Nowadays, there's a lot of online resources available, make sure to take advantage of these free tutorials and instructional videos to increase your knowledge.
Start with simple fixes like mending minor holes or repairing leaky faucets, then progress to more difficult chores. Invest in essential tools and prioritize safety by following proper precautions. Remember to know your limits and seek professional help for specialized tasks. Join DIY communities, attend workshops, and document your progress to enhance your skills. Embracing DIY gives you the freedom to control the space where you live and increase your level of self- sufficiency while also saving money.
" I asked for a quote for a decorator to paint our rooms and I was shocked when I got the price. We were quoted 1200 for painting the rooms. We decided to do it ourselves. With the help of You Tube, we were able to paint the rooms-- it was not that straightforward, i had to admit but we did save a lot of money when we did it ourselves."- Jo
Tip 9: Find free entertainment options
Finding free or inexpensive entertainment options is one take on saving money and living a fulfilled lifestyle. Explore free concerts, art exhibits, and cultural celebrations in your region by searching for events, festivals, and community activities. If you are in London, why not considering going to museums? Here's a list of museums that you can explore for free- Free museums and art galleries - MoneySavingExpert
Take advantage too of outdoor spaces for activities like hiking and picnicking. Borrow books from libraries, participate in book clubs, and attend free author talks.
Additionally, consider volunteering for events to gain access to exclusive areas while contributing to a good cause. By embracing these opportunities, you can have an enjoyable social life without breaking the bank.
With these money-saving tips, you can take charge of your finances and maximize your salary while surviving the high cost of living in the UK.
By implementing these tips, you can thrive in the UK while keeping your financial goals in sight. Remember, financial discipline and smart decision-making are key to living comfortably and confidently in the UK.