How’s Your Economy?
A little while ago on Money Bulldog we wrote a post about the rising cost of living. That post focused on one question ‘At what point will you ask for a pay rise?’ We’ve all seen the cost of things like fuel, utilities and food rise drastically in recent years, in fact according this BBC article, the cost of unleaded petrol has risen by 54% between 2008 and 2013. In addition to all of these price increases, a recent study from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that during the current economic downturn, not only have prices been rising but wages have also been falling in real terms more than ever before.
This really gives some insight as to why unemployment figures haven’t gone through the roof during the worse recessionary period since the Great Depression. Rather than lay workers off, many workers have instead been forced to accept a cut in salary in order to keep on working. Also the huge competition that exists in the jobs market – not only from those who are unemployed but also from single parents and mature workers being forced to work into retirement – has led to a drop in the hourly rate being offered for new positions.
So what can be done to ease the pain?
I’m guessing that by now most people have taken the time to switch their gas and electricity accounts over to the cheapest supplier. You’ve likely also taken a look at your food budget to see where cut backs can be made, so what else can be done?
Well it might be time to seriously consider earning a side-line income. I know many people have probably thought about this option, but for most it takes quite a bit of determination to actually get on and do it. If you have skills or knowledge in a specific area then you could start earning money from that knowledge today. You could start your own blog just like this one. If you don’t want the hassle of setting up a website but you do enjoy writing, then you could consider writing for HubPages. If you have a passion for photography, why not sell some of your best work using online services like iStockphoto and Shutterstock. Or if you have knowledge in an area of collecting why not try and utilize that knowledge by setting up an online business on eBay or Amazon.
There are many ways to earn a side-line income online and although it might take a little time to build into a substantial income, once it has, some of these income streams – like online content writing and photo sales – can simply tick over with little or no extra effort required.
How’s your economy?
We hear a lot of talk in the media about the economic numbers and the overall economic picture, but for many people all of those numbers don’t mean all that much because the overall economy isn’t their main focus, the main focus is their own personal economy.
A slight drop in the cost of inflation for example may help to ease the rising cost of living, but the effects will likely be negligible if you’re looking for work and there are very few jobs available. Or a stabilizing of unemployment figures might be all well and good for some, but if you’re a single mother with 3 kids who is unable to work and you’ve seen large cuts to benefit entitlements, again those figures might not mean all that much.
Yes these figures do mean something and they do have a real effect on our lives. For most people though the economy that matters is their own economy, their monthly income, their job prospects. So how’s your economy?