Thrifty Living: Countering The VAT Increase

Alongside fuel hikes and the increasing cost of food, the VAT rise is putting pressure on the public purse, and as the government cuts jobs and funding across the board we’re all looking for ways to reign in our expenses. Finely tuned finances don’t have to mean lower living standards; they just require a bit more attention, ingenuity and creativity. Here’s our guide to trimming expenses to achieve thrifty living.

Prudent price comparison

Any wily shopper worth their weight in consumables knows the golden rule to bagging a bargain – shop around. Whether you’re looking to invest in a new car, upgrade your white goods or change energy supplier, taking the time to research providers, offers and rates, pays dividends. Rather than sticking with the same insurance/energy/mortgage provider, consumer watchdogs also advise that we do regular research to ensure that we continue to receive competitive prices.

Frugal food

The price comparison pre-requisite carries right the way through our lives – shop around for good deals even on food, all the major supermarkets go to war on the concept of value, just make sure you’re comparing costs on a weekly basis. To cut down on food wastage and therefore financial waste, put together a weekly meal planner, this should help reign in the costs at the shops and minimise the amount of food that gets thrown out.

Clear out and clean up

Living frugally doesn’t just impact on how and what we consume in the future, it also takes account of what we keep and why. Many of us hoard huge amounts of ‘stuff’ that we either don’t need, don’t like, or don’t want anymore – whether we’re talking about books and clothing or jewellery and collectables, it all offers a way to make some quick cash. If you’re not completely confident about permanently parting ways with certain items, there are ecommerce buyers who offer loans against valuables, with the option to buy back for exactly the same price within a specified timeframe, without charging any additional fees.

Mend and make do

With discount and throw away consumables at our fingertips, the concept of ‘mend and make do’ is a virtual relic in this day and age. But a key concept of budgeting is consuming less, which means making do with what we have, taking care of our property and making it last longer.

DIY

The balance between time and money is a difficult medium to get right – generally we have more of one than the other. If we have more money we have less time to do it ourselves, which means we generally pay for a service, which means we need to earn more money to sustain the services we require… and the pattern continues. We may have less money when we have more time, but this does mean that we have the time to take care of things ourselves, whether we grow our own food, look after our own children or clean our own houses.

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