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Money saving tips to fight the cost of living crisis with the UK’s chief youth officer

Jack Parsons, CEO of the Youth Group and Big Issue ambassador, shares his tips.

More and more Brits will be counting the pennies as the cost of living crisis bites. Image: William Warby/Flickr

The cost of living crisis keeps climbing and it’s affecting us all. While we may feel pretty powerless, there are lots of little things that we can do to fight back and make our money go further. My name is Jack Parsons and I’m the CEO of Youth Group, which is an organisation dedicated to seeing young people thrive.

Having heard from so many of our 1.7 million community members about how hard they have been hit by spiralling prices, we have been working hard to equip young people with money powers to help make the most of their money.

As part of the new series of my podcast My Duvet Flip, I’ve been meeting with business leaders like Dragon’s Den star Kelly Hoppen and Lloyds Banking Group CEO Charlie Nunn to discuss how we can help young people who are struggling right now.

So, here are my top tips for combatting the cost of living crisis.

Improve your budgeting

While this one does take a bit of time, making and sticking to a rigorous budget could be the best way to make your money go further.

Work out how much money you have available each week and break it down into different costs like grocery shopping and public transport. Having split your money between the things you actually need to spend it on, you can save money by avoiding the things that you don’t really need. For me, this would be having too many English Breakfast Teas from the cafe’s near me. This may feel like just a pound here and a pound there, but it all adds up.

By sticking to your budget, you can make sure that you use your money wisely, making sure that you have enough for everything that you need to buy.

Shop savvy

Being a savvy shopper is such a good habit to get into, and there’s no better time to start than now.

Perhaps the best way to start this is by using loyalty cards and rewards. All the biggest supermarkets have some sort of scheme that allows shoppers to save little bits on the everyday items that we all buy. Over time, these little savings build up along with reward points, which can save even more on top!

Check out what discounts are available to you too! Students and NHS workers, for example, get a percentage discount in many of the best known chains on the high street and with the internet at your fingertips you can find out if you can save anything.

It’s also worth considering the swap from the more premium brands to a shop’s own brands, which are more or less the same and can sometimes be almost half the price of the branded alternatives.

Reduce energy and water consumption

We’ve all seen household bills spiral in recent times so cutting down on our energy and water consumption will help keep more money in our pockets.

Whether this is by layering up instead of using the heating or showering instead of taking a bath, there are little changes that can be made to cut down on our energy and water usage.

Reducing petrol usage

Similarly to energy and water bills, the price of petrol has sky-rocketed recently.

As a result of this, so many people simply can’t afford to continue to keep using petrol at the same rate. However, it’s likely that we take a few unnecessary car journeys, to work when it’s only a fifteen minute walk away, or to the shops when there are a number of regular buses that take you all the way.

If we cut down on these smaller journeys, we can save a bit of money on petrol costs.

Whilst it does take a bit of time, we can make smarter decisions with our money and little by little, these improvements add up. By improving our budgeting, becoming a savvier shopper, reducing energy and water consumption and looking for alternative ways to travel, we can make our money go further and fight this cost of living crisis together.

Jack Parsons is a Big Issue ambassador and chief executive of The Youth Group, an organisation that exists to help people thrive in work.

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