How People Are Changing Their Lifestyle in Response to Higher Living Costs

By Cory Maki Cory Maki has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on August 29, 2022

You would have to have been living under a rock not to hear about the rising costs hitting many nations in the west. Everything from fuel to food is rising in price, and some countries and locations have been hit harder than others. But even for those not experiencing the worst of it, it’s been a wake-up call and a realization that low costs are not always guaranteed.

That’s precisely why people are now looking for various different ways in which they can change their lifestyle and save money from one month to the next. That allows people to put more of their income into savings, where it can build up and be put to use if it ever needs to be. And there’s no shortage of changes that you can make if you’re looking to do the same.

We’re going to talk today about some of the most common ways in which people are amending their lifestyles right now in response to those rising costs. It’ll help some create a stronger and bigger financial buffer for themselves, while for others, these changes are being made out of necessity. So read on and find out more about them.

Locking in Cheaper Energy Deals

Lots of people are now looking at cheaper energy deals as they notice that their monthly bills are rising. If that’s the case for you, it certainly makes sense to lock in the cheapest deal you can find. By committing to a particular provider and the current rate they’re offering, you can protect yourself against any price rises that might occur over the course of the next year or so. Thinking ahead like that can make a really big difference for many people who are struggling with their finances.

Making Home Adaptations

There are lots of ways in which you can make changes to your home that’ll make it more energy efficient and less likely to contribute to your rising living costs. It’s one of those things in life that you can control, so it makes sense to do so. In particular, you might want to focus on things like insulation. When you use insulation of the highest standard, you’ll be able to keep out the cold and keep in the heat, and the same happens in reverse during the summer. So that helps you to cut both your heating and cooling costs.

Being More Prudent with Energy Usage

Of course, people are also looking at the small habits they can change when it comes to conserving energy. Things, like not leaving devices on standby and not having everything plugged in and turned on all the time, can make a real difference. It’s a case of simply being a little more careful and prudent when it comes to energy consumption. The changes you make don’t have to be huge or impact your life in any significant way. Just think about the changes that might have the biggest impact on your household going forward.

Refinancing Before Interest Rates Further

Some people are considering refinancing their homes and getting a better interest rate on a fixed-term basis right now. There are pros and cons to doing this, and the best time to have done it would have been last year when central bank interest rates were significantly lower than they are now. However, the risk of further interest rate hikes remains with inflation still higher than most would like it to be. With that in mind, locking in a fixed interest rate now might look quite smart a year from now.

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Setting Stricter Budgets

Strict budgets are helpful for lots of people who are not great at tracking their spending habits from day to day. When they instead set clear parameters for themselves at the start of the month, they can see how much they can spend on the basics and essentials and how much they should save and how much can be spent on fun. That framework and structure often make it a lot easier to stick to your goals and get to where you want to be with your money.

Attempting to Clear Debt Faster

With interest rates continuing to rise as we’ve discussed, one thing that can very easily hurt you right now is debt. High-interest debt is not something that you want to have hanging over you right now. The interest rates will rise, making repayments more expensive if they have a variable interest rate attached to them. That’s why clearing debt right now is a priority for many people. It’ll be cheaper to pay it now rather than wait and end up paying more back to the creditor in interest.

Fewer Long-Term Payment Commitments

Lots of people are looking to cut their long-term financial obligations right now and it’s easy to see why. Being tied to financial commitments that are non-essential seems a little riskier and less smart when times are bad. You don’t want to be spending on things that you really don’t need to spend money on when there are so many other financial pressures looming over you. That’s why it’s a good idea to ditch things like long contracts for your phone. You can get a sim-only deal or a mobile broadband sim that covers your basic needs at a lower rate.

Searching for Cheaper Deals

There are almost always cheaper deals out there if you’re willing to look for them. It’s just about taking some time out of your schedule to search for those deals and reduce your spending a little. You don’t have to be spending a lot of money on things when there are cheaper options out there. The internet is your friend when it comes to seeking out those cheaper deals and locking them down. It makes sense to give that some thought if you feel like you’re currently overpaying for some things.

Upgrading Tech Less Frequently

A lot of us fall into the trap of constantly upgrading our most important tech items, such as smartphones and laptops. Sure, it’s nice to get your hands on the shiny new toy with all of the latest capabilities and features. But people tend to curb those habits pretty early on when economic conditions are less favorable. It makes more sense for them to focus on the things that matter and less on those wants and frivolities. We can all last longer with our existing tech if we try.

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Reusing and Refurbishing

If you have items that are no longer working as they should or as they once did, you might sometimes be tempted to just get rid and replace. But people tend to be more thrifty and more willing to reuse and refurbish their essentials when they have less money at their disposal or when their money isn’t going as far as it used to. That makes perfect sense and it’s something that can’t be overestimated. By looking for these more creative solutions, a good amount of money can be saved in the process.

No Longer Financing Cars

Car financing deals are very often defaulted on when economic conditions take a turn for the worse. That’s because people make the mistake of taking out loans on their cars and treating them like a mortgage. In general personal economics, mortgages on homes are considered to be good debt. But cars are depreciated assets that aren’t going to last a lifetime. That’s why financing makes little sense, and more people are now realizing that fact.

Spending Less on Alcohol and Expensive Forms of Socializing

Spending a little less money on alcohol and other forms of going out and socializing seems to already be happening. As fewer people return to their pre-pandemic socializing habits in recent years and now a looming economic problem is on the horizon, it makes sense that people are spending less on fun things and thinking more about the kinds of costs that they can’t really afford to ignore. It’s another example of a shift away from wants and towards needs. Of course, there are cheaper solutions when it comes to having fun and people will now turn to those.

Driving Less Frequently

One of the most noticeable price rises for most ordinary people this year has been the cost of filling up the tank. It’s pretty expensive to keep your car running these days, especially if it has a combustion engine. In response to that, fewer people will be taking unnecessary journeys by car because it’s simply not always as affordable as it once was to travel by car if they have other alternatives open to them.

As you can see, there are lots of different things that can be done and are being done by people around the world to reduce their spending in the face of rising costs. During times like these, it’s obviously important to cover basic costs and reduce expenditure before worrying about anything else. And the changes discussed above make that possible for many.

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By Cory Maki Cory Maki has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Cory Maki is a former Staff Editor and the Business Development Manager at Grit Daily.

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