When times are tough, we have to reduce costs around the home. Putting food on the table and having enough warmth take priority over luxury items and non-essential purchases. Sometimes people feel as though they can no longer afford to stay connected to loved ones and friends, but there are solutions to do this on a budget. Having been in a similar position myself, I understand how difficult it can be when money is tight and you feel isolated from the rest of the world.
Yet connectivity is vital for understanding what is going on that might affect you, and it also brings you closer to opportunities such as better paid jobs. If all of this rings true with you, see whether any of my tips below can be of help to you.
Pay As You Go mobile
Mobile contracts can be convenient when you know you will have a steady income each month, but in other scenarios they can be a strain on resources. Many people have pay monthly contracts that they don’t even use fully, meaning they have paid for unnecessary text, internet and call allowances. Having an inexpensive handset (you can find some for around £10) on a PAYG deal will allow you to control your spending much better. Some networks provide special packages so you can get some free texts with your top up.
Once you’ve sorted out your mobile phone, you can turn your attention to a laptop. Sites such as Portable Universe (view here) offer special deals on reconditioned laptops; this can be the perfect solution if you need a PC. Having a laptop will enable you to keep your CV updated, as well as using an internet browser once you have connectivity.
If you don’t want to sign up for an ongoing internet package, you can choose something similar to a PAYG mobile. When you are next at the high street, have a look for an internet dongle. You will be able to load a certain amount of money onto it, which then can be used for accessing the internet at home. It is very easy to use; you just slot it into the USB drive and follow the instructions on the screen.
Free Online Calls
The internet will allow you to access emails, social media websites and more, which are all very handy for staying in touch with people and businesses. If your laptop has a built-in webcam, you could also make use of online video calls; this is a good alternative to using a phone. Programmes like Skype let you chat over the internet for free to people overseas using the same software.
Cheap Coffee Mornings
Finally, you can still continue to have coffee mornings even when you are counting the pennies. Many people choose to go to coffee shops, but the items for sale are usually quite expensive. You could meet in a local park if you bring a thermos, or even do it at someone’s house instead. Coffee granules and a pack of bourbons will be a lot more cost effective.