When you’re unemployed, every penny counts so saving money every way you can makes a lot of sense. Here are some ways to cut back and save a few extra pounds:
1. Turn off electric/gas appliances – Turn them off as soon as you stop using them. I even unplug my alarm clock every day now and just have it on during the night. The only thing that should be on at all time is the fridge/freezer.
2. Shop at budget supermarkets – Aldi and Lidl are a lot cheaper than the big chains so there are savings to be made. For example, a cucumber at Aldi is 39p as is a bag of new potatoes. Saving 40-50p per product will add up to a nice amount.
3. Use vouchers/offers – Keep your eyes peeled in newspapers, magazines and online for any special offers or money off vouchers. There are always some good discounts about.
4. Walk/cycle – Save money and get fit by walking or cycling to get around. Where I live a return bus fare costs £3.50 so getting where you’re going for free is a considerable saving. Obviously petrol prices are higher than ever as well; it takes longer to walk but if you are unemployed then you probably have plenty of time on your hands anyway!
5. Use your library – Instead of buying books, CD’s and DVD’s, why not pay a visit to your local library? Books are free and you can rent the others at a cheap price. They also have free internet access.
6. Cut your own hair – (Or grow it long!) You may not want to do this, but it will save money! It is easy for men to shave there hair short (and women if you like), or you could try out a new longer hairstyle. Getting your hair cut less regularly will save a bit of money.
7. Give up takeaways – Whilst they are nice, takeaways are overpriced and unhealthy. You can buy a weeks food from a cheap supermarket for the price of a takeaway pizza or curry so save the junk food for a treat when you get a new job!
8. Drink water – Even if you only replace a few drinks a day with a glass of tap water, it’ll mean you use less tea, milk, squash, etc so they will last longer.
9. Downgrade – This isn’t ideal but is something to consider when money is tight. Get rid of Sky (or similar) and replace it with digital Freeview TV. If you have a mobile phone contract that is coming to an end, replace it with a ‘pay as you go’ phone until you are working again. Sell you car and buy something smaller and cheaper. Those are just a few downgrading ideas that may or may not be suitable for you.
10. Cut back – There are many ways to do this, some already mentioned here but if you generally use and do less it’ll save you money overall. Even tiny things like using a squirt less deodorant, eating smaller meals or turning the TV/computer off and going to bed earlier will make a slight difference.
Hopefully some of these ideas will be of use. Some are quite boring and won’t make for a very fun life, but desperate times call for desperate measures so remind yourself they are only temporary. Keep in mind that you can reward yourself with a few treats from your first pay cheque once you get back in to work – keep your eyes on the prize!