If you thought the Irish economy was bad then spare a thought for our neighbours – the UK has just announced that unemployment has reached a 17-year high.
According to the Office of National Statistics, unemployment rose by 114,000 between June and August to reach 2.57million; with the unemployment total among 16- to 24-year-olds hitting a record high of 991,000 for the quarter, that’s a jobless rate of 21.3 per cent. So while times are tough for us all, it’s fair to say that they are much worse if you’re out of a job altogether – so how can you save money when those purse strings aren’t just tight, they’re almost locked shut?
Budgeting is the key
The first step towards saving money when you have no income is to budget appropriately. Review a recent bank statement to get an overview of where your money is going each month and look for ways to cut back – the one silver lining to the cloud that is losing a job, is that you will automatically lose some of that expenditure through reduced travel expenses, lunch time meals, etc.
However, you should still prioritise your spending for each month – with mortgage/rent payments at the top of the list, followed by utility bills and other essentials such as food. At the bottom of the list there may be some expenditure that you can afford to remove altogether – for example, there may be a gym membership you can do without, if you can exercise at home; you may be able to cut back on your nights out during a month; and you may be able to cancel a newspaper or magazine subscription that you don’t spend much time reading.
Of course it’s not just about reducing your outgoings – you should also look for new forms of income too. While searching for full-time jobs, why not see if there is something available part-time, or if you can raise money in other ways, such as by selling unwanted items on online auction websites? Also consider signing up for government support and make sure you are capitalising on the benefits available.
How to make savings on the essentials
No matter how much we look to cut back there are still some items that we simply can’t live without such as food, clothing, etc. There may be other purchases we need to make too – such as electronic items to ensure we keep on top of any meetings or interviews that may come our way; or health and beauty items to ensure we look our best to make a good first impression.
That’s why it’s vital to be savvy in our money spending. Take advantage of online shopping as it is usually cheaper than buying on the high street due to the savings businesses make on overheads – this goes for everything from fashion to groceries. Also look into voucher codes, which may slash the price of certain items even further; and price comparison services to make sure we’re getting the best available deal.
The key then is not to panic – remember that there are tools available to help you get back on track, and with a little savvy you can ride the storm until the sunset appears again.
Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash