In association with Experian

Here's where to get instant cost of living advice

Need cash tips now? These are the websites, social media accounts and podcasts you can check out right now as the cost of living bites

cost of living

Image: Pexels

Association from Experian

Social media is the home of skits, dance routines and futile political arguments, and it’s where many of our attention spans went to die during lockdown. But as the cost of living crisis has tightened the screws on household budgets, it has become a hub for ordinary people to share helpful tips for when you’re in a squeeze and need advice in real time.

If you’re facing serious financial difficulty, your first port of call should be support organisations like those outlined our Talks Money magazine who can tailor advice to your circumstances. But while saving a few pounds on your weekly shop might not be enough to get you out of problem debt, it can make a difference when you’re living hand-to-mouth. 

Forget doomscrolling and glamorous Instagram influencers – these community-focused resources, from helpful social media accounts to cost of living radio, are full to the brim with helpful tips to take the edge off financial pressure.

MoneySavingExpert

The cost of living crisis took Martin Lewis from consumer expert to the most trusted voice in the fight to stay on top of daily spending. He founded MoneySavingExpert, now an online one-stop-shop for the latest news and tactical advice. But its forum is the website’s real gem – here you’ll find thousands of ordinary people seeking and receiving advice on everything from managing benefits to cheap holidays to the best-value bank accounts.

TikTok

On TikTok, the search “cost of living” has been viewed around 2.6 billion times at time of writing. The ease of the app means anyone can pick up their phone and share the latest tip they’ve discovered – and thousands are doing just that. Accounts such as @mealsbymitch – who creates meals for £5 or less, without assuming that everyone will have certain things in cupboards or can afford to bulk-buy – to @duchessofthrift, who pivoted from sustainable fashion hacks to “cost of living hustles”, are sharing advice which might not boost your credit rating but might help you through another day.

This Is Money

Both online and folded into the pages of the Daily Mail, This Is Money has been providing trusted financial information and advice for nearly 25 years. You’d be hard pushed to have a cash question unanswered by a visit to thisismoney.co.uk, and now the This Is Money podcast is packaging expert insights with easy-to-understand explainers for listeners.

Radio 4’s Money Box

From how to get around corporate red tape to access refunds you’re entitled to, to exploring the relationship between money and happiness – BBC Radio 4’s Money Box is a great weekly listen for all things personal finance. Broadcast on Saturdays at midday and repeated on Sundays at 9pm, you can catch up via the BBC Sounds app if you can’t listen live.

Facebook groups

There is a plethora of lively communities on Facebook designed to share cost of living tips, and there’s something for everyone. With nearly 20,000 members, Money Saving Tips UK – created by media company Newsquest – is one of the most active, with members sharing their own strategies for keeping costs down as well as highlighting potential fraud and scams which look to exploit people who are struggling for cash. 

Instagram accounts

In this difficult financial climate, we’re especially at risk of information overload – staying on top of the latest economy news and discerning what does or doesn’t affect you is a tough task when you’re busy trying to stay on top of bills. Fortunately, some experts have taken to Instagram to give you the information you need in a bite-size, accessible format. Try @allthingsmoney_ – which also has a podcast, a Facebook community and a mailing list – which aims to educate followers about all the financial tricks we weren’t taught in school and which could make all the difference in navigating the cost of living.

Money Helper

Created by the UK government’s money and pension service, Money Helper is a great source of impartial and straightforward guidance on all things finance. From information on pensions, how to get a mortgage and simple explanations of the latest Budget news, the website will also direct you to resources and support specific to your needs.

Podcasts

There’s a podcast for everything, including financial woes. Cash expert Catherine Morgan’s It’s Not About the Money understands that women often face additional financial barriers and provides bespoke guidance and insightful discussion about everything from overcoming “money shame” to the psychology of subscription services. Financial Wellbeing, from money planning brainiac Chris Budd and David Lloyd, take an empathetic approach to finance and its relationship with the way we live. Alternatively, former City worker Damien Fahy’s Money to the Masses demystifies the jargon-laden world of finance as well as answering all the cash questions you were too afraid to ask.

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