2022 has been a whirlwind year for people all over the UK, and indeed, the world. As the year starts to draw to a close, the cost of living crisis is being felt by many. I know that I’m not alone in saying that 2022 has really taken its toll on me in terms of my financial stability and with last year’s wedding debt still looming over us, it’s been particularly tricky to navigate the financial waters.
My goal for 2023 is to really make a dent in our collective debt. Truthfully, we’re finding it hard to pay back our debts thanks to the huge cost of living bills and the fact that we seem to just struggle to generate enough extra income. I will be doing my best to partake in some of the best side hustles for 2023, as well as working hard to create blog content and continue to grow my VA business in order to score some extra money, as well as making these financial cutbacks.
Cutting Back in 2023.
I would say that we are fairly used to living a frugal lifestyle. We are both 30, have two kids, and two dogs and live in rented accommodation; cutting back on things isn’t a foreign concept to us. I can’t stand it when financial influencers or bloggers suggest that you start cutting back by forgoing your daily cup of Costa. If you think I can afford a cup of Costa each day, you’re grossly overestimating the amount of expendable money I have!
There are some things that we do try and do each year, or that we do make an extra effort to try and afford. These things mostly fall under the category of ‘making memories’ and include family holidays, birthdays/Christmas presents, and days out.
For 2023, we’ve come to a mutual agreement that we will not be going on our usual week-long family holiday. I want to preface this by saying that our usual family holiday is never extravagant – it’s usually just a week camping in Cornwall or similar. However, with the 5 hour drive, the cost of all the days out, and the price of buying food, that really adds up. At the end of the week, we usually find that have spent way more than we’d have liked to and it’s just not worth it.
I’m usually really good when it comes to shopping frugally. With that being said, I used to put a lot more effort into finding deals, using shopping apps, and ensuring that I only buy what is on the list. Over the last year or so I have noticed that I’ve become lazier with my shopping habits and I will spend twice the amount of money that’s necessary just for convenience (I’m totally looking at you, Deliveroo!).
I recently discovered a Generic Brand vs Store Brand savings calculator which has me raging at myself for not being savvier with my shopping habits during 2022. I justified it to myself at the time by saying it was convenient and it was only once or twice, but I know that was just me lying to myself. I dread to think how much I’ve spent on shopping over the past year because I haven’t been in the right mind frame to save money. Retrospectively, I know that if I had put a little more effort into being frugal like I once was, I could have made more of a difference to our debt levels.
Clothing and Gifting Cutbacks
I have recently discovered the joys of Vinted. It has, by far been my favourite second-hand shopping app and far surpasses Depop in my opinion. I absolutely love Vinted and I find it super easy to use. It’s so great for buying clothes and gifts for a fraction of their original price. I actually used Vinted a lot during the Christmas period to buy secondhand clothes for my kids. I was able to score some really great deals, including an Addidas jumper for £1 that was in perfect condition and some brand new Addidas trainers for only £8.
These are only a few of the cutbacks I’ll be making in 2023.
These cutbacks won’t change my life dramatically, however, I am hoping that living with a more frugal mindset throughout 2023 will allow me to squirrel away some additional money that I can then pay back into my loans.
If you have any advice for me, I’d love for you to share it! Please feel free to leave a comment below or drop me a message on any of my social media channels. I’m always so grateful for personal finance tips, so please don’t be shy!