The cost of living crisis - Firth Finance

The cost of living crisis

When prices are soaring, we tend to look for ways to ease the squeeze.

But what if you don’t understand the rising cost of living and what it really means? We decipher what the biggest price hike for fifty years is all about and give you some top tips to help avoid excessive bills.

To put it simple, the cost of living is the amount of money needed to cover basic living expenses such as food, housing, and utilities (eg) electricity and gas.

According to research, the cost of living has been steadily increasing since 2021 which in turn affects the affordability of goods and services for households. Inflation, the pandemic, energy prices, and the war in Ukraine have all played a part in this.

Here’s just a few reasons claimed to be major contributors to the price hikes seen around the world:

Fuel and Energy

Oil prices around the world slumped at the start of the pandemic, and due to demand have since rocketed back to a seven-year high. It’s a similar story with gas. Demand has driven up prices along with depleted gas reserves.


The price of consumer goods increased during the covid pandemic with consumers happily shopping online from home, however, with worldwide manufacturers shut-down due to restrictions at that time, they have since struggled to keep up with demand. This has led to shortages of various materials, thus driving up prices.

Global Shipping

Shipping companies globally have been swamped by demand post pandemic. This along with rising fuel costs, air freight fees, bottlenecks at ports, and lorry driver shortages, means retailers have suffered increased shipping costs to get goods into their stores. Prices hikes for the end consumer of these goods has therefore been inevitable.


We got Brexit done, but trade barriers have since resulted in more costly imports, therefore contributing to higher prices in our stores.

So, what can we do?

If you’re feeling the pinch, take time to review your cost of living and make savings where possible. Recognise that inflation and prices are only going one way, so allow for further expenditure over and above what you currently pay. Here are a few things that could help keep a few pounds in your pocket.

  •  Invest in and snuggle up with a heated blanket. Far cheaper than having the heating constantly turned on.
  •  Check if you’re out of contract with your broadband and mobile phone providers. Online comparison tools could help you save £££.
  •  If you have an online purchase to make, do your research. Explore and sign up to newsletters for discount codes when offered. Check out cashback sites and coupons for your shopping too.
  •  When you boil the kettle, use it to fill a flask. It’s amazing how many times a day the kettle is boiled to make a hot drink!
  •  For drivers, try reducing your speed on long journeys. This will help to reduce petrol/diesel/electric consumption. Also check your tyre pressures and remove any unnecessary weight from the vehicle. Even better, try car sharing if possible!
  •  Don’t be too proud to ask for help from your local food bank if you need to.


About Firth Finance

For over 50 years our team has worked throughout Belfast and Northern Ireland to offer our competitive doorstep loans with fixed rates of interest and no hidden fees or late payment charges.

Today, we are the financial provider of choice for our many happy customers.


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