When you finally take the leap and move out into your own place, you’ll probably realise just how much you took mum and dad’s help for granted! For many people, taking on the task of managing your own money and household bills might seem scary, and it’s understandable if you’ve got no idea how much your energy will cost or how much you’ll need to spend on food.
Don’t panic though, to help you out, we’ve come up with a few handy hints for household budgeting, as inspired by HBO’s fantasy epic Game of Thrones. If – like Jon Snow – you know nothing, then read on for some fool proof tips on making your money last!
1. Winter is coming: the motto of House Stark is an important one to remember when the temperature starts to drop. Your energy bills can start to suck all of your money, so don’t automatically reach to turn the heating up when it gets a bit chilly. Put on a jumper and thick socks to stay warm and wrap up in a blanket, it’s much cheaper!
2. A Lannister always pays his debts: this one is easy – just don’t take on more credit than you can afford to pay back! Store cards might be tempting if you need a new outfit, but if you’ve already got a credit card, you don’t want any more repayments on top of this. And if you borrow money from friends, make sure to give it back! Otherwise you’ll end up as unpopular as the Lannisters, and no one wants that.
3. Work with what you’ve got: when Daenerys Targaryen first starts her campaign to take the Iron Throne, she doesn’t have any money. But she’s got dragons on her side and in no time at all, manages to get her first ship. If you’ve only got a couple of quid to cover the food shopping, be creative! Look through the cupboards and see what ingredients you already have in. Plan a few meals that will last for a few nights in the week – after all, it’s much easier to make meals in bulk than try to make food just for one day.
4. Choose your allies wisely: Game of Thrones is all about politics and clever alliances, and you could learn a thing or two from this! Make friends with the guy at work who’s got a car if you need a lift, or get chatting with the girls in the office who have a house with a barbeque in the garden – it will make for a cheap summer!
5. Avoid weddings: in Game of Thrones, weddings usually spell bad news for someone. Although it’s unlikely that any weddings you go to will be as disastrous as ‘The Red Wedding’, you should avoid going to too many social gatherings when money is tight. We’re not saying don’t enjoy yourself, but sometimes you need to learn when to say no to the fifth birthday party in a row and just stay in and save money. You could even catch up on your new favourite TV show – we wonder what that would be!