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Make a budget (and stick to it)

One woman who commented in support of Shay’s video said she refused to sacrifice the time she has with her son by taking a second job. Instead, she said she’s “learning to live simple and stay on budget.”

Creating and sticking to a budget that breaks down your monthly income between necessities, wants and savings is a great way to get on top of your money.

Try to avoid common financial mistakes — such as relying heavily on credit cards for purchases you can’t afford at the time or getting loans that you’ll struggle to pay back.

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Prioritize paying down debt

It may seem counterintuitive to prioritize paying down your debt when you’re struggling “to keep the damn lights on” — as one TikTok commenter put it — and survive the soaring cost of living.

But covering your debts is an important part of managing your money. If you rack up too much high-interest debt on your credit card or your car loan, you could fall behind on your payments, be subject to financial penalties, and your balance can quickly spiral out of control.

That can damage your credit score and leave you in poor standing if you need to borrow more money — which you may if your pay isn’t keeping up with inflation.

If high interest rates are the reason you’re struggling to stretch your paycheck, you may want to consider refinancing your loans to secure lower interest rates. For those who are dealing with multiple payments at different rates, you might be able to consolidate your debt into a single lower-interest loan.

Boost your income

There are multiple ways to supplement your income — without having to work over 40 hours a week. For instance, you could look for a new job that offers a higher pay rate, or you could ask for more responsibilities — but understand that this may require extra training for you to advance into a higher-paying position.

You could also earn some extra income by selling unused or unwanted items online — perhaps you have clothes or gadgets you can sell — but if you plan to start doing that this year, make sure you understand the new tax rules for selling items online.

Renting out some space, like a room in your home or even a parking spot, is another way to generate some cash flow. Or you could get a roommate to split some of your housing costs.

Most importantly, there are all kinds of ways to boost your income. But how you manage that money will determine if you’re able to keep up with — or at least get closer to — the inflation rate without having to take on a second job or a side hustle.

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About the Author

Bethan Moorcraft

Bethan Moorcraft


Bethan Moorcraft is a reporter for Moneywise with experience in news editing and business reporting across international markets.

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The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.