How To Save Money in 2022

Money is something that we all work very hard to earn and hate to see go down the drain. For me, money is something I have had to learn to manage and over the years it hasn’t always been easy. Although this is not a saving money blog, I want to make sure I cover issues that are bothering most of us right now. We all need to keep an eye on our wallets as the cost of living rises.

Fifteen years ago I got hooked on an online casino game and racked up a massive credit card bill. For a long time I paid the price by working through my holidays and cutting back on everything until I got my finances in order.

These days I am a lot more organised when it comes to personal finance. Though I definitely do not claim to be an expert (Far from it!) I would like to share my findings and ask for your ideas in the comments. As the energy crisis hits and the cost of living is set to rise, we all need to find ways to get cover our costs.

Cutting Corners (Saving money by keeping a close eye)

Now it can be very hard to keep track of income and outgoings so I would suggest finding a way that suits you.

When I discovered that one of my direct debits had gone wrong and I was being overcharged by a utility provider every month, I made a drastic decision. Instead of having direct debits I cancelled every single one and asked for a monthly bill instead. Then on pay day I could glance over each bill and pay them individually.

Keeping a close eye on my outgoings like this made me feel more in control and enabled me to spot mistakes in billing, which I would otherwise never have noticed. Even my mortgage is paid like this and I can choose to overpay it if I feel as though I am having a flush month.

Saving money is hard

Have you ever seen a bit of money in the bank and then been itching to spend it frivolously? I have. It is one of the main reasons why saving money is so difficult. I used to put my extra cash in bank ISAs but every time I opened my banking app I could see that money staring at me, willing me to use it on something unnecessary.

Currently money doesn’t make much interest in savings accounts anyway, so it may be worth exploring other ways to store it. I have used an app called ‘Moneybox’ (a product I like but am not sponsored by) which has proven to be a safe place to keep my money and many of my friends have started to use it as well.

Moneybox allows you to store your money in a savings account which has a slightly higher interest rate than most banks and locks in your cash for either 45 or 90 days. In other words I have to think weeks ahead about taking money out and cannot just pull it out and spend it on a whim.

Saving money or investing?

While mentioning Moneybox I have to also say that you can buy and sell shares there easily, too. There are so many options, including allowing the app to invest your money for you, spread across low, medium or high risk investments. Personally I have grown comfortable investing but I feel as though this topic is too complex to include here in any great detail, so watch out for a future mention of this.

Another such form of investment is cryptocurrency which I have also started to use and profit from. It would be interesting to find out how many of you have already begun to use this trendy but volatile method of investing money. Again, I haven’t been using it long enough to speak with confidence about it, but I am keen to know how others are finding it. One of my friends made £1000 in a day but I can see how the same amount can be lost at the drop of a hat.

Stop paying for things that you don’t need

Chocolate is my weakness. I would save more money if it wasn’t for chocolate.

When you sign up to new services, you often forget about them or stop using them, whilst still paying for them monthly. Recently I looked closely at my bank statement and realised I was paying two lots of home insurance as I had searched for a cheaper provider and not bothered cancelling a previous one. I know that is a crazy example but these things happen.

I also noticed that I was paying for a membership of a group that I no longer have an interest in or time for. It is really easy to keep adding payments and signing up for apps and services without then remembering to get rid of them. One online newspaper that I was using had increased its cost by £4 a month without me knowing, and of course I hadn’t even read the thing for ages.

Put money to one side

My nan always said to me, ‘If you earn a bit more one month, spend half and keep half.’ I do this now. When I find that my income has gone up slightly or my costs are down in a particular month (such as February when council tax is not paid) I take half of that additional money and spoil myself with something I want. This can be a theatre ticket, a new book or even just some chocolate. Meanwhile, I pop the other half into my current favourite savings place.

In the past, when I didn’t trust myself with that money, I used to transfer it to my mum and ask her to give it back to me in summer when I most needed it or it could help me find a holiday. These days I am more settled and can exercise self control, so that extra cash will nearly always go straight into Moneybox or into a separate bank account that I keep without a card. Having no card for it means that I don’t think about using it and it can sit safely in a medium interest account.

Saving money is important

After being incredibly bad with money during my University years and early twenties, I have learned the importance of money saving the hard way. Hopefully, some of the thoughts I shared might resonate with you as you read this. I look forward to reading your comments about any money saving tips that you may have. My short list is not all encompassing but I tried to talk about the key things that have helped me.

Thank you for reading my blog post. Another recent post I wrote about money is Boost Your income – Side hustle suggestions which is where I discussed passive income and ideas for working additional jobs. If you enjoy my content, please consider following my blog and look out for new posts about books, entertainment and life hacks.

Boost Your Income – 5 Side Hustle Suggestions

Are you struggling to pay all your bills? Is the new energy crisis starting to hit your pockets hard? Then you are not alone! I have been watching my bills go up at a faster rate than ever before and my friends and colleagues have started to become really worried about their personal finances. How can we find ways to make ends meet?

Although I am no money saving expert, I have worked multiple jobs at once and have experienced several different side hustles which have made a massive difference to my life by enabling me to keep on top of my bills. I am not talking ‘get rich quick’ schemes; just simple ways to gain extra income with a little honest work involved. So if you are ready for multiple hustles, definitely read on!

Why are bills going up?

Last year we really began to see massive price rises as Covid ended but fuel shortages first began to hit our pockets hard. Then we saw a shortage of lorry drivers which put an extra squeeze on our finances by making everyday shopping items more even expensive. This was simply due to a lack of drivers – fewer people seem to want to drive lorries and work long hours doing so (with the after effects of Brexit making it worse still).

Now our over-reliance on oil and gas has been highlighted as Russia is the third largest producer of oil in the world. This horrible conflict in the Ukraine has led to sanctions (rightly so) which have impacted on our supplies of gas and diesel. Prices are predictably soaring.

Side hustles for 2022

Here are some small ways that you can add a little income stream to help with bill paying. With each one, either I have tried it myself or a close friend has:

1) Take in a lodger

University students are ideal for this as they are usually self-contained and make good tenants. They only want to stay during term times and will pay a fair rent for a room and access to a kitchen and en-suite.

You can charge a competitive rate of between £120 and £180 a week for this and because students are just individual tenants (not a couple or family), they are easy to accommodate. The home insurance with lodgers who are renting a room does have certain stipulations though, so make sure you check these out, as they may involve an initial outlay of cash (for instance fire regulation requirements). Also search ‘contents insurance for lodgers’ and related articles to make sure you are fully clued up on the subject.

Alternatively, offer a room out using Air B’n’B. This one I cannot comment on but is clearly popular. Having a spare room empty during these times is a shame as it could be helping to ease your financial worries.

2) Work some care shifts

I found working flexible hours in care homes was the most satisfying side job I ever had. The industry is desperate for carers who are flexible and willing to work at night time. Up until recently I would do evening shifts and my friend took over the mantle, working whenever her partner was at home to look after her kids in the evenings.

Nothing beats the feeling of helping someone to get on with their life. This is a side hustle because it slots alongside a full or part time job and can help fund necessities. Unsociable hours pay twice as much, too.

For me, it was a summer job between contracts and I ended up doing it happily for three years, mainly at weekends. I used this extra income to pay off a credit card successfully.

The good thing about this is that you can say yes or no to shifts and don’t have to feel obliged. Simply use your spare time to make a contribution and enjoy doing so, whilst knowing that you are steadily increasing your income.

3) Offer a service which is in demand

If you are good at baking, sell some baked goods.

For me, tutoring has been an incredible way to make extra money on the side. I have always had people asking me if I could tutor their sons or daughters to help them with Maths or English and this has really helped me out over the years.

Since Covid made working at home easier, I have taken on clients using Zoom. This reduced the cost of driving to tutor them and significantly cut my costs as well as saving me time.

Local websites and Facebook pages are good places to advertise your skills. People are always looking for gardeners, cleaners, artists, dog walkers, bakers and content creators. Why not tap into one of those markets and gain a little extra income at the same time?

Alternatively, why not look into becoming a virtual assistant for others? I found this great article offering training for a Virtual Assistant Job.

4) Create a website or blog

It would be odd if I didn’t mention making money from blogging, as this is something I am currently exploring. Just like any business website, a blog provides information and entertainment. This means it deserves to be recognised as a quality source of content. So why not monetise it?

Setting up a blog about things that grab your interest can lead to a fun and satisfying adventure. You do have to be prepared to put the work in though, especially if you want to place adverts alongside your articles. Blogging is a skill which comes with practise and one which has changed my life. I get tonnes of pleasure out of producing content about books, entertainment and the environment.

Whatever your niche, make sure you are interested in what you write about because blogging is a long term thing. It takes time to build up a site and improve characteristics such as speed and SEO. I recently wrote a post about How To Blog, which discusses some of the ways to grow a blog and start to make an income.

I recently found a link (which I have added to this blog post as an update) which is all about Blogging as a Side Hustle and it is really relevant and hugely helpful regarding starting a blog and using it to make side hustle passive income.

5) Make a KDP book

This is the very first thing I did with my own writing. I put together a book of short stories and self-published it using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). Amazon makes it really easy to publish straight onto their platform and charge an appropriate price for your work. Just make sure you are thorough when setting up the book with a particular Amazon KDP niche or multiple niches, as being too limited can affect your book’s visibility.

Although I write fiction, a lot of people make a reasonable income from non-fiction books. For instance, those which explain how to do something useful. Books include cooking tips, car maintenance, mental health advice and a whole range of relevant modern topics.

All you need to do is create a Word document of whatever you want to talk about and then upload it to the KDP page. It will then help you to create a front page and blurb and you can decide if you want to sell the book as an ebook or paperback or both. If your material is good, then soon a bunch of sales will come along and some people will use their Kindle Unlimited membership to read your book, while you get paid for each individual page they read.

Summary

Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestions for side hustles to help pay those growing bills. Another brilliant blogger that I recently discovered wrote a really good post about How To Get Your Family Finances In Order which is well worth a read as well.

My suggestions are all side hustles anyone can do. This is a tough year with inflation and a general cost of living increase which is forcing all of us to dig deeper into our pockets. Soon the UK national insurance contributions will also be increased so we have to find cool ways to bolster our incomes. Hopefully my side hustles list has helped and you can add your own ideas at the end of this blog post.

A friend suggested that I write this side hustle post and I am grateful for the idea. Hopefully some of what I suggested will be helpful to you or someone you know. If you want to read more of my content, which is about everything from books to current affairs, please follow my blog for future articles.