A cost of living increase can be expensive. If you’ve moved somewhere with a higher cost of living or are dealing with increased costs due to inflation, here are five ways to help you cope. By making some adjustments in your daily life, you may feel less worried when paying these higher costs.
1. Rework your budget
If your cost of living has increased, it may be time to reassess your budget. For most people, having a budget is a must and can ensure that you’re able to pay for all of your expenses with the income you bring in each month. If your daily living costs are getting higher, you may need to get creative and rework your budget.
That may mean spending less on certain purchases. Reassessing your budget can help you determine which areas of spending you can improve. For example, you may be spending too much on takeout, entertainment, travel, or shopping purchases. Reworking your budget and spending less on unnecessary purchases can help balance out an increased cost of living.
If you’re new to budgeting, this beginner’s guide to budgeting is a great place to start. And if you like the idea of automating your budget, here’s a list of the top budgeting apps.
2. Negotiate your bills
In addition to reworking your budget, you may also be able to lower some of your bills. If you’re open to switching providers or are willing to ask your current providers if they have better deals or cheaper plans, you may be able to save money. This is an excellent way to make the money that you do have stretch further. After negotiating several bills, you could free up a significant amount of money.
Need some more inspiration? Here are some bills that you may be able to negotiate.
3. Switch to remote work
Many companies are warming up to the idea of remote work. When you’re a remote worker, you have more flexibility to choose where you want to live. If you can make the switch, you may consider moving to an area with a lower cost of living. This way, you can afford your living expenses more comfortably without having to leave your job.
Not sure where to move? These are some of the most affordable cities with a low cost of living.
4. Consider getting a side hustle
If you have the time, a side job can provide a great opportunity to increase your income. When choosing a side hustle, choose something that you’re passionate about so you enjoy the experience. You should also determine how much extra money you need to make for the side hustle to be worth your time and effort.
Not sure what side hustle is right for you? These side hustles earn $1,000 a month, and one of these opportunities may work well for you. As you increase your income, dealing with a cost of living increase will feel less stressful.
5. Ask for a cost of living raise
Another tip is to ask your employer for a cost of living raise. If you’re living in an area that is getting increasingly expensive and you’re unable to work remotely, you should consider asking for an adjustment to your income. With a bigger paycheck, it will be easier to deal with higher living costs.
Some employers give cost of living raises regularly, but not all do. If your employer hasn’t given you a raise in a long time, you may have to bring the topic up yourself. Be sure to research and be ready to show your employer why you deserve a raise. If you need help asking for more money, this guide to negotiating a raise may be helpful.
No matter your financial situation, a cost of living increase will take some adjusting. By changing a few habits and advocating for yourself, you may transition to paying higher living costs with less stress. For more guidance on important money matters, take a look at these personal finance resources.