Surviving these tough economic times requires a little creativity from people who want to cut back on their spending. A survey by the International Monetary Fund found that the global economic growth rate dropped from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.8% in 2023. Projections look bleak in emerging and advanced markets. For people on the ground, this manifests as everything becoming more expensive but incomes remaining stagnant or lowering. Some people are having to take more than one job to remain afloat or retain some economic security.
In addition to multiple jobs, many people are resorting to a couple of hacks that are helping them survive these tough economic times. We reached out to people on Twitter and found the following solutions.
1. Buying practices
Many users dropped brand loyalty. What’s now more important is value for money. The most affordable product is what’s purchased. With how frequently prices fluctuate due to inflation and tax levies, the brand that remains affordable or offers discounts is the best option. Substitution from the most popular products for cheaper ones is a necessity.
Another way was to purchase items in bulk. Wholesale prices are slightly cheaper than retail. Buying produce in bulk also means less money spent over a longer period which can help people make more savings.
Instead of buying new clothes or shoes, repair what’s already owned when it gets damaged. If it’s not recoverable, find an affordable and long-lasting second-hand option. Reducing how much is spent frivolously on new clothes just because they’re cute helps save money. Only buy intentionally.
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Cooking cheaper meals and avoiding products like meats and sausages can help save costs. Basic meals like ugali with a vegetable and eggs are more affordable than pasta with meatballs. Doing meal prep and cooking in bulk also reduces the daily costs of having to buy food at every meal time. Relying on leftovers for at least three days a week reduces food waste and saves money. Batch cooking and creating designated rations for daily meals reduces costs.
Instead of going out, opting to eat at home saves money because it costs less. Restaurants charge markup fees for their drinks and meals. If craving a snack like a burger, better to buy the products from retailers and assemble the meals at home.
Adding soup can make a meal more filling and reduce the number of snacks in between. Creating a broth using cornstarch or wheat flour can make your meal fuller and richer. Using affordable proteins such as beans, or green grams leave you fuller for longer and have multiple nutritional benefits.
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3. Reduce socialising
A lot of hanging out with friends or potential partners involves going out for meals and drinks. This can cost a lot of money. When trying to save, it may be better to have home potlucks or meals organised at each other’s homes.
Another option provided was avoiding dates. Taking a step back from the dating scene saves people cab fare, meal and drinks money, or event tickets.
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4. Payment methods
When making payments, look at the cheapest way to spend money. Credit cards and overdraft fees come with interest rates. Using cash or debit cards costs people less in the long run. Using cash rather than mobile money payments makes it easier to track down your costs because of the visual of using money.
Budgeting also helps reduce money waste and helps you set aside funds for saving. Using apps to track expenses keeps people accountable.
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5. Reduce unnecessary costs
Instead of using your car, try carpooling with your friends and neighbours who live in the same areas as you. This reduces fuel costs for everyone. Try to use buses rather than cabs where possible. Cycling can also be a great way to costs or walk rather than using fares. Where possible, work from home rather than a café or go to the office. If your job doesn’t require a lot of in-person appearances your schedule is flexible, negotiate a few days a week to work from home.
It’s also recommended to reduce luxuries. Instead of styling your hair weekly, opt for protective hairstyles. Sticking to basics helps save money. Reducing impulse purchases for aesthetics or comfort.
6. Reduce black tax costs
Black tax is the money sent to family members by younger relatives who have gained an income. Many millennials find themselves sending a significant percentage of their income to parents and younger relatives. It may not be possible to stop providing assistance but people who need to cut back can try having that difficult conversation where they share the reality of their finances. Dealing With The ‘Black Tax’
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