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As someone from a lower-working class background, I grew up with very little. This means I’ve always talked about money, and having less made me want more. From a young age, I was always thinking about ways to make more money. 

I’ve been a self-employed performer ever since I gave up my day job in 2018 to become full-time drag king and it was the best decision I ever made. The first year was a bit of a struggle, but that just made me work even harder.

That said, because I’m self-employed I’m always staying on top of what comes in and what goes out of my account. From the start of 2023, I’ve noticed how quickly my money has been disappearing. Sometimes even when I feel like I’m having a really good month, I’ll go to my bank app to check my account balance and I’ll be shocked. Where’s all my money gone!? Honestly, the cozzie livs crisis is real. 

Spending more on bills and less on coffee 

The cost of everything has increased this year which has made me worry about money a lot more. It can feel like no matter how much I’m making, I’m always spending more. I’ve noticed my energy bills and food shops have increased in price the most. But everything, down to my takeaway coffee, has increased. The price of my coffee order — an oat latte — has gone up by over £1. It feels so wasteful to spend nearly £4 on coffee when I can make some at home, so what used to be a daily treat has become an occasional one. 

Rising prices have also made me more cautious about spending. I’m spending less on clothes, which is actually a positive though because of the impact of fast fashion on the planet. I love cool kicks but I’ve had to curb my trainer addiction, too. And I’ve also been having fewer takeaways. Because my work schedule can be quite busy I’d buy takeaways out of convenience but now that just feels so wasteful and pricey, so I’m trying to meal prep now.

My tax bill is also getting bigger, so even though I try to save money I end up eating into my savings when I pay it. My goal for 2024 is definitely to spend less and save more if I can. I have used MoneySuperMarket to compare and switch my mobile phone tariff, which has saved me money and I would definitely do it again in future. I’m also a big dog lover and have two rescue dogs, so I’m always looking for cheaper pet insurance. 

The cost of a night out means people stay home

I’ve noticed how the cost of living crisis is affecting people’s decisions to go out. People have told me they’re choosing to go out less, which makes sense. If you’re having to spend more just to survive, going out to events is naturally going to become more of a luxury. Nights out are now more expensive than ever before — this is especially true in London where the average price of a pint is around £6, as if a fiver wasn’t enough before! I’ve also noticed more events being cancelled. 

That said, I’m based in East London and whenever I go out it’s still busy so it seems like people are finding the money to have a good time no matter what. But even in Birmingham, my home town, prices have gone up. The cheapest night out I ever had in the UK was a queer night in Sheffield called Andro and Eve. The crowd was great, too, so if you’re up North and want a good night for cheap, that’s the place to be.

Talking about money is necessary, not crass 

It’s very British to avoid having conversations about money, and as a performer it can be frustrating when a booker isn’t up front about the amount of budget they have available. I think it’s important to know your worth and to be able to ask for it. Especially now when we’re in the midst of the cost of living crisis.

I think as with any worry, talking about financial concerns is necessary and helpful. We need to talk about cash. In the UK it’s seen as crass to do so but we need to be more open about it. Ultimately we all rely on money and can’t get by without it. 

If you’re looking for ways to make your money go further, MoneySuperMarket has got you covered. From insurance to phone deals, broadband and money, there are always more ways to save.