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The cost of living crisis is hitting hard

The cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard: Here are some ways to deal with it

For much of this year, the UK has been dealing with a cost of living crisis. In October, the annual rate of inflation reached 11.1 percent -- a 41-year high – which has left families across the country feeling a financial pinch.

By September 2022, 87 percent of households in the country said that their cost of living had increased in the previous month, compared with 62 percent in early November 2021. The degree of being affected by the crisis varies by the overall income of the household – meaning, the poorer a person is, the harder they will be hit.

The cost of living crisis is hitting hard

Mitigating the whole crisis through basic hacks seems very unlikely at this point, but that doesn’t mean taking control of your finances in the best way possible is a hopeless mission.

Here are ten tips to help ease the burden:

  1. Plan your finances
    This seems tedious at the start. From making an excel sheet to pooling all your income and expenses together, to updating the plan every single month. It all seems time-consuming and tedious, but without knowing exactly what goes in and out of your account, you can’t find ways to cut costs. The main solution to this is to keep your systems as simple as possible to ensure that they are usable. First, monitor your fixed and variable expenses. Once you’ve become accustomed to using the sheet for expenses, you can start monitoring your income. There are plenty of downloadable spreadsheet templates you can experiment with. There are also lots of free apps that can be used!


  2. Coupon collecting
    There’s an app for that. Gone are the days of looking through magazines and newspapers and putting coupons in different envelopes. For online shopping, there are browser extensions that can filter through discount codes at each checkout and find you the best deal. It’s also worth downloading apps for the major supermarkets you go to on your phone and collecting points every time you go. Another way to save is to join mailing lists. Create a separate email account for your newsletters so you don’t clutter your main inbox and organise the incoming messages into different folders so you have discounts for different items at hand.


  3. Organise your household hacks
    There is a plethora of tips on keeping your home warm all over the internet. The issue isn’t finding them, it’s implementing them. It’s all too easy to find one TikTok video and then go down the rabbit hole of endless scrolling (and sending posts to your best friend but really keeping it in their inbox for your reference), but implementing them is a different story. Social media is designed to overload your brain with information and give you a false sense of achievement so working with the information you get isn’t always useful. The best way to tackle this is work backwards. Work out what your home needs and then organise them in different folders based on what you need.
  4. Discover gems at the reduced section
    There’s a misconception that reduced food will make you sick, but this couldn’t be further from the truth – sometimes, it’s the best place to find fruit at its ripest. It’s usually staples that are found in this section, so if you know the food won’t be lounging in your fridge for long, there’s no need to buy full priced food. Set your intention to reduce food waste for the sake of Allah and allow yourself to receive the barakah (blessings) in your food and other parts of life.


  5. Embrace leftover days
    “It is He Who has brought into being gardens, the cultivated and the wild, and date-palms, and fields with produce of all kinds, and olives and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and variegated. Eat of their fruit in season, but give (the poor) their due on harvest day. And do not waste, for God does not love the wasteful.” Quran 6:141 We often forget that wasting food is a sin in Islam. Having leftover days will ensure we do our bit to reduce yet more food waste and save money. If food can be frozen before it goes off, always opt for this because it will always save you from wasting food you’ve already made and ordering food home when you can’t cook.


  6. Walk as much as you can
    Walking one of the best ways to save money on petrol and transport. Often, abled body people don’t realise how little they walk until they set out to walk 10,000 steps a day. Rather than approaching this from the mindset of limiting yourself based on your affordability, set out to walk 10,000 steps to make you rethink your commuting and driving habits. Once you get into the habit, you’d be surprised how relaxing and meditative walking can be.


  7. Start shopping from the lower shelf
    Putting the most expensive products at eye-level is an age-old marketing trick. The cheaper branded items are usually on the lower shelf, so before you pick up an item, take a look around for cheaper alternatives just centimeters away.


  8. Make thermals your best friend
    Thermal flasks, clothing, household insulation, everything. Remember the hacks we were talking about? Use as many of them as possible.


  9. Clear out your subscriptions
    You all know what we’re talking about here. You really don’t need that many premium memberships.


  10. Contact your local authority
    Councils are now providing a Household Support Fund for those struggling to pay bills. Contact your local council to see if you are, or will be, eligible for this or any other scheme to pay bills.

We know it isn’t easy to deal with a crisis in the midst of winter and tips don’t necessarily ease institutionalised burdens but trying these small changes with an open mind may actually surprise you.

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