Here’s my lastest Agony Aunt problem!
Christmas has left me almost penniless. I had sensibly been putting some money aside each month to spend on Christmas presents- which was difficult enough, but obviously now that has been spent and I’m not sure how I can afford much else in the new year.
I graduated fairly recently but have only been able to find temping jobs or bar/waitress work. This provides me with enough money to live; i.e. pay the rent and food shopping but I cannot seem to make any forward progress.
I need to find a job and would like a bit of cash to either save or treat myself with.
C. Webster, Newquay
Welcome to the world we are all living in right now. I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear but there are many people in the same situation as you.
I think some New Year resolutions are in order here. First of all, try and stay positive, good things happen to positive people- not to people moping around.
Second, make yourself stand out from the crowd. How many other people are applying for the same jobs you are? Are they all submitting CV’s on paper? How can yours be different? Why not make a little video of yourself (keep it clean!) and send it in along with your CV.
And finally why not compile a quick questionnaire and poll your friends and family all about you and your skills. Sometimes it’s hard to see what you are naturally good at, we take ourselves for granted.
With the results, think about how you could turn these skills into an income. For example, if you excel at academia, how about personal home tutoring for GCSE students. Or even a wedding planner if you have a head for organising and can cope under pressure. You could even turn your hobby into a business.
Other things to consider if you don’t do so already are charity shopping for clothes and gifts, using cashback sites when buying online Quidco is a reliable one and doing a monthly budget and figuring out where you can reduce costs.
I’d also highly recommend reading www.athriftymrs.com who has some fantastic tips on living within your means.
This correspondence originally appeared in Vintage Life Magazine January 2012