There is no doubt about it; consumers are facing testing times as the cost of living continues to rise at a disproportionate rate to earnings.

Many have attributed this to the impact of Brexit, which has devalued the pound and triggered an increase in the cost of exports. With the cost of food and fuel particularly heavily affected, inflation has risen to 2.3% and its highest level since September 2013.

A steady decline in the value of real wages has also taken its toll, however, creating a macroeconomic climate where consumers must adopt a proactive and responsible approach to managing their money.

3 Creative Ways to Use Your Income and Make it Work for You

One aspect of this is to make your money work for you, highlighting creative vehicles that enable you to increase your earning potential and build towards the future. Here are some examples:

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 Become a Forex Trader

While the forex market remains a volatile entity, it is also one that delivers incredible money-making potential to informed, intuitive and deterministic traders. It is also easier to access this marketplace than ever before, with online brokerage sites like LCG offering up to 60 individual currency pairs, a wide range of analytical tools and real-time execution.

Given this, and the liquidity that exists in this derivative marketplace, it is possible to earn margin-based returns and profit even in a depreciating climate.

Make no mistake; to be a successful trader you will require a broad base of knowledge, which can be built through free-to-access courses and online tutorials. Determinism is also a key attribute, as it helps you to trade without emotion and understand the underlying laws that influence change in the market.

Crowdfund Businesses

Crowdfunding has existed for more than a decade now, although it has recently evolved to the point where it offers tangible value to investors.

More specifically, the emergence of equity crowdfunding has revolutionised the practice, enabling independent investors to pursue long-term gains through high-value business ideas. Whereas Crowdfunders were once asked to invest in exchange for simplistic, one-off rewards, they are now awarded a fixed equity of the business that relates to their financial commitment.

So with a keen eye for business and an ability to recognise ideas that have true commercial potential, you can use your capital to invest in commerce and accrue wealth over time.

Expand (and Diversify) Your Pension Fund

They say that you are never too old to start your pension, and this is particularly true in an age where the retirement age is rising and the value of state pensions continues to decline.

In the modern age, however, it is also important to expand and diversify your pension plans wherever possible, as there are a host of options available to forward-thinking savers.

Take options such as self-invested pension plans, for example, which offer access to a broader range of asset classes and also deliver long-term tax savings. This ensures that your money works just that little bit harder, while enabling you to pursue more substantial returns.

There are other pension options too, but the key is to focus on diversifying your portfolio and building wealth over a longer period of time.