Cash-strapped workers ‘would rather change their lifestyle than ask boss for pay rise’ | Personal Finance | Finance

As a result, many would prefer to simply cut back on eating out (15 percent), ditch treats (12 percent) and even sell their belongings (10 percent) than try to increase their income.

Others would shy away from asking for a pay rise and cut their own hair rather than going to a hairdresser (nine percent), downgrade their car (seven percent) and rent out a room of their home (seven percent).

But even of the 44 percent who have stepped up to ask for a salary increase at some point in their career, 30 percent didn’t get one.

It also emerged 56 percent have already made lifestyle adjustments to cut back on their outgoings as the cost-of-living crisis starts to bite.

Changes among the top 30 cost-saving habits included cancelling subscriptions, using less toilet roll and even taking fewer showers.

Andy Philpott, spokesperson for employee benefits specialist Edenred, which commissioned the research, said: “The poll shows that UK workers are not only stressed and concerned about the cost-of-living, but willing to go to extraordinary lengths to budget.

“Food is a big focus for saving, with workers cutting back on takeaways and eating out – and choosing to bulk cook or eat leftovers.

“Employees would rather make differences to their lifestyles and livelihoods than ask their employer for help, whether that is a pay rise or other support.

“This is a shame as there is a clear opportunity for employers to provide support, and enhance engagement, in the current climate.”

The study also found 21 percent have worked more hours to increase their pay due to the cost-of-living crisis and 20 percent have taken a second job.

While 15 percent have taken out a new credit card and 14 percent even re-mortgaged their home.

A fifth have borrowed money this year, such as via a loan or credit card, and 22 percent plan to before the end of 2022.

The top things workers are most likely to borrow money for are general living costs such as food shopping (22 percent), bills (19 percent) and home renovations (18 percent).

When it comes to finances currently there are feelings of concern (20 percent), worry (19 percent) and anxiety (18 percent).

But in the next 12 months some do expect to feel confident (21 percent) and optimistic (20 percent).

It also found 34 percent don’t feel informed or educated enough to see the cost-of-living crisis through, while 29 percent think there is a lack of help available to the general public.

Worryingly, only 18 percent of those surveyed via OnePoll feel their salary is keeping pace with the cost-of-living increases.

Andy Philpott added: “The challenge for employers is to get more money into their peoples’ pockets but a pay rise isn’t the only way to achieve this.

“Employers have a wide range of options available to them other than a pay rise which will improve an employee’s overall financial position.

“These include employee benefits, employee savings platforms and pre-paid cards redeemable at supermarkets and food outlets to help with everyday essential costs.

“Employees should feel confident to discuss these options with their employer.”


  1. Avoid eating out
  2. Avoid takeaways        
  3. Do DIY jobs myself rather than pay a professional        
  4. Cut back on treats e.g. chocolate
  5. Buy supermarket own brand items rather than branded
  6. Wear layers around the home rather than put the heating on
  7. Eat leftovers
  8. Use my car less e.g. walk or cycle instead        
  9. Spend less on birthdays / anniversaries        
  10. Sleep in layers rather than put the heating on        
  11. Work from home more to save money on the commute
  12. Avoid buying takeaway coffee
  13. Cook in bulk             
  14. Sell personal belongings e.g. on Facebook Marketplace               
  15. Cancel subscriptions e.g. Netflix, Spotify etc        
  16. Put fewer clothes washes on        
  17. Buy clothes from charity shops rather than new        
  18. Cut my own hair rather than pay a hairdresser       
  19. Avoid using the dishwasher
  20. Pay in cash rather than my card in order to easily budget        
  21. Cancel my gym membership        
  22. Grow my own fruit and veg
  23. Only heat one room of my home        
  24. Wash my hair less frequently  
  25. Only use one pump of soap
  26. Feed my pet leftover human food rather than buy them separate food
  27. Upcycle clothes rather than buying new
  28. Use less toilet roll
  29. Take fewer showers
  30. Use old towels instead of kitchen roll

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