Being an independent adult is really hard, and if you live in a city like london or NY where rent is crazy you'll know that it is also very expensive. This post is for people who do have jobs or are in school but are struggling, and are way past the 'cancel your gym membership' tips.
Before anything: Make sure you know exactly why you don't have enough money to live and change it if you can. If your job doesn't pay enough ask for a rise or try to find another. If you are supporting an addiction get help. If you can't work then make sure you're getting money you're entitled to from the government.
1) Steal toilet roll from work if you work in an corporate office or chain anything. Don't steal from small businesses. Basically take anything you can from your work if they underpay you or are a big business, but don't do it too often and don't get caught.
2) Apples, berries, herbs, edible flowers, mushrooms etc all grow around London (just pick the high-up ones to avoid dog piss and be 100% that what you've picked isn't poisonous) and these things plus more (lots of fish, mussels, game birds, potatoes that have fallen off trucks etc) to be had in Cornwall.
3) Look after your belongings well, particularly shoes and coats. Learn how to sew.
4) Walk everywhere as much as you can. Wake up earlier if you have to. Travel is a budget killer.
5) Cut mold off of bread, vegetables and other food. Trust me, the rest of it is perfectly o.k.
6) If you can't afford your own food, and live with roommates or have friends and family nearby, then exchange chores for meals - cook the food, wash-up, dry up etc.
7) Go to all free events for the free food, drink and toilet paper.
8) If you can't pay all of your bills, prioritise. Rent is probably most important, and council tax is important because if you don't pay it eventually you go to jail. You can live without water and electricity in your house if you can get these things from elsewhere (like work or school).
9) If you can't afford rent either move somewhere smaller and cheaper with more people, or couch surf for as long as you have to (again offering to do chores). In London look into Property Guardianship.
10) If you have a pet to look after and can no longer afford to keep him or her then ask a friend or family member to look after them for a while. If that isn't an option then you will have to think about giving them up.
11) Go out but get other people to buy you drinks or drugs or whatever and make friends with band members, promoters and doormen with your dazzling wit, charm and malnourished body to avoid paying entry next time.
12) Keep in mind that you shouldn't pay for any of the following, as they are all available free somewhere: Pens, pencils, paper (most stationary actually) condoms, haircuts, plastic containers, plastic bags, sweets, hairbands, toilet roll, water, salt and pepper, sugar, tea and coffee etc.
13) Pick up money from the ground. It adds up eventually I promise.
14) Use coupons and buy USEFUL discounts in bulk as much as possible. Befriend co-op employees who have family discount cards that will get you 10% off and ALWAYS shop at the end of the day.
15) Be o.k. with liking certain foods you didn't before because their packaging got damaged and they were in the reduced section.
16) Live on homemade soups, rice, potatoes, and discounted food. Don't waste money on food that doesn't fill you up. This blog is good for cheap recipes.
17) Stay at work or school or any other heated place for as long as you can in winter. Dance and runaround at home if you can't afford heating and wear lots of layers/hats etc.
18) If you still have electricity (or gas), keep the oven door open to heat your house and insulate windows with the metro newspaper.
19) If you wear make-up and run out of it use the free samples in Boots and Superdrug.
20) Sell or trade anything you don't use. Definitely sell your t.v. if you have one and tell the tv license people. Avoid ebay (they take 10% profit). Lots of areas have 'buy swap sell' groups on facebook.
21) Charge electrical items at work or school.
22) If you are comfortable with it, take up something on the side to make money, but stay safe. It's better to be poor than it is to be dead.
23) Never buy things from corner shops as they are stupidly expensive. Bulk buy online or get yourself down to the cheap markets (no artisan shit) which are often cheaper than the 99p stores. In London, good places to go are Peckham Rye, Ridley Road, and Elephant & Castle (the stalls outside the shopping centre).
24) London is full of free things to do, so try and get into parks, libraries, walking around, and museums. Elsewhere isn't too bad if you get creative (eg Cornwall is a great place to scenically get fit for free)
25) If you are really struggling, you can find your nearest food bank here.
26) If you have a party to go to and want a new outfit buy online using as many discounts as you can and then return it asap after the event. Always keep the label on and buy something dark that won't show up tiny marks and nothing easily damaged like beaded dresses that fall apart instantly if you snag a thread.
27) Fill out a prescription fee exemption form which will come in handy when you get the flu from living on rice.
28) Give blood for free biscuits (not that reliable though as you can only do it four times a year and there are lots of restrictions)
29) Consider your talents. Especially creative things like busking, selling handmade cards or soap (idk) but other things like dog walking, babysitting, tutoring etc are quite nice tax free earners for those with no creative qualities and flexible schedules.
30) If winter is making you depressed and you own the house you live in, consider trying this free trial on the Guardian House Swapping site to look for somewhere to live temporarily abroad where living costs are often cheaper and it's generally more interesting and has better weather.