EMERGENCY APPEAL. UK poverty is rising. We urgently need your help to reach everyone.
Act now

Four top tips for the cost of living crisis

From above: six people doing a 'hand stack', putting their hands into the middle of a circle. Underneath them are documents that refer to numbers and finances.
Hayley Tearall

Digital Content Producer

Top tips to help you save money during the cost of living crisis. 

With people’s financial situations changing drastically month-on-month, a simple change or two could be the difference between going into minus numbers or making it through this month.

Most of us will have never experienced such high costs of living before. At the moment, 4.7 million people in the UK are behind on paying the bills, meaning one thing is clear: if this is you, you’re not alone. I’d go as far as to say that almost every single household is feeling the strain in some way or another.

If you’re looking to tighten up your spending, make living cost less, or share top tips with like-minded people, CAP’s Life Skills course could be just the thing for you.

Introducing Life Skills

Run over eight weeks at a church local to you (and totally free of charge), Life Skills groups are an opportunity to both share your best tips with others and receive 1:1 coaching towards your specific goals. 

Whether you’re looking to be more savvy with your spending, discover how to cook meals using less energy, or want to know how to talk to your partner about money, Life Skills covers it all. By sharing best practices with others in your local area and going through the topics with our expert Life Skills Coaches, you’ll soon be great at knowing how to make your money go further.

It doesn’t look like things are going to get easier, or cheaper, any time soon. That’s why it’s vital that you put in place strong foundations now, either through bigger changes or quick wins, to make sure your finances are stable enough to withstand any storms that come your way.

Top tip #1: Health check your relationships

The simple fact is: money impacts relationships, and relationships impact money. Whether your finances are taking a strain on your relationships or vice versa, we’d love to help you improve the health of your relationships.

Maybe money is tight and you need to start reducing your household spending or increasing your income somehow. Talking about money can be stressful, especially when there’s no wiggle room or room for compromise. How do you decide what counts as a necessity or luxury?

Perhaps you’re burying your head in the sand altogether, buying things you can’t afford or even buying things to feel better (this is called emotional spending’), and that’s having an even more of an impact on your relationships.

We can all benefit from giving our relationships a health check, and simple steps like discovering the tools to stop emotional spending, or starting a healthy conversation around money with your partner or family can make a big difference. A CAP Life Skills group offers a safe and supportive community where you can be real about the challenges you’re facing, and add some tools to your toolbox that will help make your relationships healthier than ever.

Top tip #2: Spend less, save more

With everything costing more at the moment, most of us have had to do a bit of re-jigging of our budgets to make sure we’re not spending beyond our means. Maybe you’re a budgeting expert, or perhaps you’ve never needed to monitor everything you buy.

Wherever you’re at, CAP Life Skills will help you to create a budget that works for you. You’ll also be able to assess what purchases you feel are necessities, which are more wants’ and which you would be happy to cut back on altogether.

Whether your goal is just to end the month without hitting zero, or you’d like to start building up your savings to plan for the future, a CAP Life Skills group offers a chilled-out space for you to work out all the finer details alongside our Life Skills Coaches and peers.

Download our free spending diary to get started on adapting how you currently spend.

Life Skills spending diary
321.90 KB

Top tip #3: Low-cost healthy meals

With food prices having increased dramatically, alongside rising costs of energy, it’s becoming more difficult to buy (and cook) nutritious food without breaking the bank.

It’s vital that every household in the UK can afford to cook and eat well, both for our immediate functioning and overall health. But is it possible to find low-cost meals that are still good for you, when every week the food shop costs more?

Some of us may be seasoned experts at needing to keep costs down, while for others of us, this may be a new thing. The good news is, a Life Skills group brings everyone together to explore new recipes, so if you’re bored of eating the same meals, come along, share ideas and be inspired to cook a new variety of tasty nutritious food while still saving those pennies. Here are just a couple of ideas to get you started.

Top tip #4: Using energy wisely

In this digital day and age, it’s hard to know where to go for information or facts anymore. Everyone is a self-proclaimed expert. Whose voices can we actually trust? With 27 years’ experience, CAP has empowered thousands of people with their finances since launching in 1996. Life Skills offers a trustworthy voice in the middle of the noise, with practical advice to help you stay afloat in this cost of living crisis and beyond.

Including special input from British Gas, a CAP Life Skills Course will equip you with the finer details that could help you out, like what kind of electricity meter you have, how you can get the best tariff for your household’s needs, or top tips to help you insulate your home and keep it warmer. In a group setting, each group member can share how they’ve reduced energy consumption, whether it’s changing cooking methods, finding ways to retain heat, or using appliances at different times of day.

Find a Life Skills group near you

If you’re looking to strengthen your foundation through this cost of living crisis, get to your local, free, eight-week Life Skills course. Enter your postcode today to find your local group.

Find your local CAP Life Skills

Ruth holding a sign that reads 'There is so much need. I'm at my limit.'
Ruth, Co-Debt Centre Manager

We urgently need your support to reach every person in poverty.

Ruth holding a sign that reads 'There is so much need. I'm at my limit.'