5 ways to... fix your finances

Money worries getting you down? Add these smart swaps, savers and sources of inspo to your financial radar
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Boost your plant-based menu

Yes, swapping some meat out of your diet can benefit your health as well as the planet. But, for more of an incentive, chew on this: on average, plant-based meals eaten at home cost 40% less than meat/fish ones, reveals new Kantar stats – so your bank balance will also thank you! Take inspiration from author Jack Monroe’s budget-friendly veggie recipes. Bon appétit.

Decode debt language

It’s so easy to be lured into deals by marketing spiel, right? But, make sure you’re not taking on a debt you wouldn’t usually sign up for. A quarter of shoppers actually spent more money than they planned to, because ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) options were available, according to a recent Which? survey. Common terms to watch out for? ‘No money? No problem’; ‘Love it, get it’; and ‘Pay over time, easily’. Of course, BNPL can be great for when the need arises, say for a bigger but essential purchase, such as new glasses. But when it comes to non-essentials, take a moment to think about whether that deal really is as good as it sounds and if it works within your budget. You could also try money management app HyperJar, which turns the notion of BNPL on its head, allowing users to put money into ‘jars’ they can only spend at designated retailers.

Get inspired by the finfluencers

Aka, a new wave of diverse women who want us to get clued-up and feel empowered about our finances. Some of our faves on Instagram include Alice Tapper (@go_fund_yourself) for her digestible guides, and US-based Bola Sokunbi (@clevergirlfinance) for her thought-provoking questions. (Psst! For more inspo, check out our Health and Lifestyle Director’s story about tackling her own money anxiety.)

Make money from your sofa

It’s totally doable. You could sell stuff on eBay, Facebook Marketplace and musicMagpie (which buys things such as DVDs, games, tech and phones), or raid your wardrobe to list on a fashion marketplace, such as Depop. Don’t want to part with an item forever? Rent it out via the platform Fat Llama, which has categories for photography equipment, instruments, sewing machines and more. Or even score a penny for your thoughts – market researchers, such as Ipsos’ i-Say, Swagbucks and YouGov, reward you for completing surveys and sharing opinions. All while you watch another Gavin & Stacey rerun…

Don’t be afraid to seek help

It’s no secret that the past 12 months have been incredibly tough for many people, including financially. One in four UK adults got into debt because of the pandemic, found a money.co.uk report. If you’re struggling, check out the charity StepChange for free and confidential debt and money advice. Which? Money is also great for tips and insights.