How to make ends meet when life gets tricky

working out finances

Let’s be honest, the economy is throwing us all challenges at the moment. If you’re one of the millions of people wondering how to weather the storm over the next few months, then you’re not alone. So what should you do when life gets financially tricky?

Facing reality

Things in Britain are quite tough at the moment. Not only have energy bills reached new heights, but interest rates are on the rise and inflation is letting rip. Most of us are facing higher bills and higher outgoings. But it’s unlikely that your income has gone up to compensate for these rises.

Sadly, prices and bills aren’t likely to come down for a while, so we have to face the truth; most of us are going to have to tighten our belts for a while.

Looking at your finances

The first thing to do, if you want to find a solution, is to look at what you’re regularly paying out. Make a list of every single outgoing that regularly leaves your account. The next thing to do, is to work out if you can afford to get rid of certain expense for a while. Whilst you won’t be able to pause your mortgage and energy payments, you may be able to pause your gym membership and television subscriptions.

Once you have a list of what you have to pay and what you can afford to cut, it’s time to see if you can save money on your essential outgoings. Make sure you’re getting the best possible rates and tariffs. And don’t forget to haggle where you can!

Once you’ve audited your finances, try and take a look at at your social commitments over the next six months too. Birthdays, holidays, nights out. Could you scale back any of these things? You obviously can’t prevent a loved one’s birthday from occurring, but you could set a gift budget and look for a present in the sale.

Finding short-term solutions

If you’ve audited your bank account, you’ve cut what you can and you’re convinced that you’re paying the lowest amount possible, it’s time to see if you can make the books balance. Hopefully you can, but if there’s still a deficit, it’s time to look at short-term solutions.

You may turn to your savings, ask a relative for cash, use your credit card, or take a look at payday loans. Sites like may be able to help. Accessing credit doesn’t have to be scary and it can be useful when you’re trying to weather a short-term storm.

Making extra money where you can

The next thing to do, is to look at extra ways to increase your income. It might not be possible to get a wage increase, but ask for one so you know for sure. If you’re told that it isn’t possible, look at other ways to boost your income. You could look for a second job; working in a cafe at the weekend (for example). Perhaps you could try and sell some old clothes, or maybe it’s time to start a sideline that’s linked to your hobby. Anything you could do to increase the money coming in will make a positive difference.

Remember, it’s not forever

Things may not look rosy at the moment, but this won’t be the situation forever. You won’t always be worrying about the gas bill, working extra hours and taking out additional credit. Yes, the next few months will be tough, but this too shall pass. With a bit of thought and effort, you will be able to navigate your way down this road.

Note: this is a collaborative post.