Everyone knows that job hunting is basically pretty rubbish. It is, pardon the cliché, like a rollercoaster of constant hope and disappointment, which is fundamentally exhausting. But another aspect that is super stressful is the pure economics of it. To be alive costs money, but to job hunt costs more. And with little to no incoming earnings to counterbalance this spike in outgoings, things can quickly descend into chaos.
While there is obviously no permanent solution to this quandary (aside from getting a job, which is the whole purpose of the mission anyway), there are certain things to be done to soften the fiscal blow. Here are seven, fairly easy to implement, tips and tricks to save money during the job hunt.
Save on bills.
While there are some outgoings that are generally non-negotiable (i.e. paying for water and heat), there are things that can be done to save a bit of cash. Firstly, if you live alone, you can get 25% off your council tax and water bills – which can make a real difference.
It’s also important to remember that generally, electricity is more expensive than gas – so investing in an electric blanket or fan heater for winter can actually reap huge savings. And follow your mum’s advice – turn things off when you’re not using them! When money is scarce, it makes no sense to be literally throwing it away.
Save on food.
While takeaways are tempting and eating out is always a pleasure, food is one of the easiest places to cut down on outgoings. There are a ton of websites, blogs and Instagram accounts focused on easy, nutritious, and, most importantly, cheap meals.
Getting into good food habits, like a weekly grocery shop, meal prepping, eating at home and saving leftovers can seriously make a difference in times of money trouble.
Save on travel.
Automatic ordering of Ubers is a slippery slope. Get into the habit of taking a bus, train or tram instead. If you take a good book or listen to an interesting podcast, travelling can become about the journey as much as the destination.
Look into money saving schemes – weekly passes for public transport, or the old classic 16-25 railcard. A one off investment now can actually save loads of money. And of course, there is the option of walking. It is totally free and great for the health of your body and mind.
Get charity shopping.
Charity shops are a great resource for loads of things, like books and homewares. But they really come into their own in terms of job interview attire. They typically have ton of good quality, professional looking clothes. And because this isn’t a trend-based clothing style, no one will be any the wiser if they’re from a few seasons back.
Spruce up for free.
Many of the best ways to make oneself look presentable at interview don’t cost a thing. You don’t need to look glam or polished, simply neat and tidy. Clean hair and neat nails, for example, give a great first impression and are totally costless.
Find ways to treat yourself for free (or near enough).
Instead of associating self-care or treating yourself with splashing the cash, find ways to improve your day that barely cost a thing. A nice hot bath, or a fresh, clean set of bedsheets can make you feel a million dollars while costing much less.
A Netflix marathon is one of the most enjoyable and bargainous ways to spend an evening. If you stop associating physical gifts with rewarding oneself, you can save on money while maximising on happiness.
Set yourself up for the future.
Remember this time after you do (and you will) get a job. Even setting aside 5% of your pay per month can act as a real safety net in case this happens again. And with a whole bunch of tips in your arsenal, the job hunt may not seem so terrifying in the future. At least, not economically.