“1) I cook for one and I am looking for a nutritious, balanced weekly meal plan for £15 a day, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with one snack. I would like to eat roughly 1,800 calories a day. I am allergic to strawberries and don’t eat shellfish. I would like my plan to include chicken, vegetables and rice.
- Please include a grocery shopping list at the end.”
It came up with a day by day meal plan tailored to my needs, with a grocery shopping list that I could copy and paste into my phone’s Notes app to take with me to the supermarket.
4. Finding cheap airfares & hotel destinations
Holiday flights and accommodation can vary hugely in cost – with certain decisions (like booking flights last minute) adding a huge premium to your trip. In this case, forewarned is often forearmed – meaning you can spend that hard-earned budget on actually enjoying your destination.
I used ChatGPT to help me discover destinations I can fly to cheaply, keeping my options open so long as they stayed within a certain budget (although you could also add ‘beach’ or ‘hiking’ destinations). I also specified that the flights needed to be from my nearest airport in London – as I’ve found in the past that the costs to get to other airports can be almost as much as the flight itself.
Here’s what I asked: ‘Where can I fly to from London Luton this October for less than £40 for a return flight?’
Chat GPT will not only list the suitable locations to fly to, but also the airlines that fly there. I chose (well, hypothetically chose) Copenhagen via Ryanair. Useful! You can then ask it to research accommodation e.g. Can you find some affordable hotels to stay at alone in Copenhagen?
For this prompt, it listed five options, including both shared and private rooms, priced between £20 and £80. I could also have got more specific, and clarified my budget per night, ideal location and whether I’d be happy with a shared room.
5. Creating a financial plan
While – just to reinforce Ellie’s disclaimer – you shouldn’t be basing your life decisions on a robot’s advice, ChatGPT can provide rough financial suggestions for how to chunk up your money, for instance helping you to meet a certain savings goal.
‘I am 27 years old living in London, I make £3,000 a month and have debts of £5,00. My fixed expenses each month are £2,760 on rent, £120 on utilities, £90 on gym, and I’d like to save up £750. In terms of non-essentail expenses, I don’t mind spending money on eating out, but I’d like to reduce how much I spend on clothes.’
6. Approaching one-off financial challenges
Trying to limit your spending when approaching a particular challenge, like birthday party-planning or buying a car, or being a wedding guest, and need some advice? Chat GPT has got your back. For instance, I asked it a hypothetical scenario based on a real-life problem I recently heard a friend mention: ‘I’ve been invited to a colleague’s wedding, but I’m worried about how much it will cost. How do I limit my spending?’ It came up with lots of helpful suggestions, like splitting the cost of a gift with another guest, planning travel in advance and opting out of some events if they may be expensive (for instance, not attending the hen if it is over budget).
Francesca Specter is a London-based writer and podcaster. You can follow her work by signing up to her newsletter, while she’s on Instagram at @ChezSpecter.