At this time of year, many of us are taking a good long look at our list of New Year’s resolutions. We’re figuring out which ones we are actually going to keep, and which ones will fall by the wayside. January and February are always tricky months at the best of times, and with everything that we have been through over the past couple of years, it seems entirely reasonable that we may not be quite as up to speed on our promises to ourselves as we would like to be.
However, there are plenty of signs that we are going to be in for plenty of challenging times ahead. We are looking at a rising cost of living, as the price of food in the supermarket is going up with no sign of a reversal. The cost of our energy bills is going up too, and it does not look like there is going to be any reprieve from the government on that front. We are also looking at taxes going up, and it is being reported that wages are not rising quickly enough to meet these increased costs. With this in mind, it is high time that we all find ways to manage our life admin better. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Start With A Clean Slate
If you are the kind of person who has a phone full of notes and reminders, a fridge covered in post-it notes and a drawer full of papers that you feel are probably important, then it is time to take a deep breath and start from scratch.
Getting organised comes easier to some people than it does to others, so think about what kind of system works for you. Are you the kind of person who loves a colour-coded spreadsheet? Or do you need to have your to-do list written down on a physical bit of paper to stick in your mind? Remember that you need to make a system that works for you. It is not worth using a template that someone else recommended if you cannot get your head around it.
Plan Your Days Better
Right now, everything can feel a little overwhelming. It can feel as though there is never enough time in the day to get everything done. We get up, we work, we go to bed. If you are struggling to take control of your days, then it is time to get organised.
Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time before you start work for the day or leave for work if you are now going back to the office now that the government has rescinded the work from home advice. It may sound simple, but giving yourself time to shower, have a proper breakfast and do something that is just for yourself will make a big difference. If you know that you have recurring life admin tasks, set a time of day when you will tackle them. Be honest about yourself whether you are the kind of person who tackles these responsibilities better in the morning or the evening.
Look For Ways To Boost Your Budget
With all these rising costs, we are all looking for ways that we can save a little more and add some extra cash to our monthly budget. The truth is that a lot of the ways that you can add to your personal revenue stream require you to make more time in your schedule. If you can find a way to carve out some extra hours in the day, then it is time to hit some job boards. Think about what skills that you have to offer which could be of particular use. Remember that there are a lot of businesses out there that are currently reeling from the impact of the so-called Great Resignation, so this could be the perfect time to get into the freelance game. Think about putting together a website and an online portfolio that demonstrates the range of your experience and your particular skillset. Do not be afraid to reach out to friends and colleagues who freelance to ask about where you should be looking for work and remember that you will need to hustle if you want to make an impact. This is an incredibly competitive field that you are jumping into.
Of course, we do not all have time in our lives to add another work commitment. If you need extra cash but you are unable to freelance or pick up a side hustle such as delivery driving or signing up to work for a lift service, then you should look for ways that you can earn cash online. One of the best ways that you can pick up some additional income and earn money from home is look for referral and sign-up bonuses from your providers. For example, many companies will offer cash rewards for referring a friend. Lebara offers up to £50 referral for their customers, and your friend gets 50% off their plan for three months. Lebara’s SIM-only plans free you from the worry of those extra costs waiting for you at the end of the month, and their plans operate on the award-winning Vodafone network.
Shop Smarter By Planning Ahead
We all know that nothing torpedoes a budget like impulse spending, but when you are pushed for time and overstressed it is all too easy to end up in some bad habits. While planning for your weekly spending will not rule out impulse spending completely, it will give you greater control of your budget. Take food shopping, for example. How easy is it to come home at the end of a long day, be uninspired by the food you have in the fridge and decide to order a takeaway. Not only are endless takeaway meals bad for your health, but they are also a serious strain on your finances.
Plan your meals for the week before you do your next weekly shop. Make a detailed shopping list and do your best to stick to it once you are in the supermarket aisles. Try to cook meals that will leave you with leftovers, and then make sure you use them. Buy in bulk where you can when it comes to things like toiletries and non-perishables to avoid those mid-week shops. With a proper plan in place, you can definitely start to see some savings.
Get Serious About Your Sleep
One of the biggest causes for poor life admin habits is that we are just too tired to keep to them. It can be so difficult to stay on top of your to-do list when you are so exhausted that you can’t think straight. Over the last couple of years, we have seen many reports written on how badly we are all sleeping, and you need to think about what you can do to improve your rest. Make sure that you are getting between seven and nine hours of sleep every night depending on your individual needs. Try to cut down on caffeine and alcohol and leave your screens behind when you go to the bedroom. Everything seems more manageable when you have had some proper rest.