We could all stand to save a little more and spend a little less. Whatever our spending habits, incomes or financial goals, putting money away while cutting back on excess spending is always sensible, and more achievable than you might think.
Making your money go further while nurturing a pot of savings feels like a particularly important task in light of recent global events. With much of the world currently in lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, our futures have rarely felt so uncertain.
With a recession likely to follow the pandemic, our financial futures and employment can feel unstable. However, with nothing to do but stay at home, now is also the perfect time to save money – and get creative while doing so! Gone are the long boozy weekend brunches with friends, gone are the weddings which call for costly new outfits, gone are the expensive summer holidays to exotic destinations. This may feel disappointing on a personal level, but it’s great news for your finances.
Why not set yourself a challenge and see how much you can save in lockdown? This massive list of money saving tips is a great place to start. We’ve also come up with five creative approaches below…
5 more ways to save…
1. Challenge yourself (and friends)! Are you a competitive type? Challenge yourself to see how little you can spend on key outgoings. This could be food, entertainment, clothing, personal care – you name it. Pick your category, then set yourself a limit to beat each week (or each month). If you find competing against others more motivating, why not get your friends involved? You could even give a percentage of your savings towards a charitable cause, like Oxfam’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Appeal. The person who saves the most gets to pick the charity.
2. Spring clean your outgoings. When is the last time you took a long, hard look at your bank account? It doesn’t make easy reading, we know. But scouring your statement for unnecessary recurrent outgoings will save you hundreds, even thousands, each year. Cull that gym membership you never use, that Prime membership you didn’t realise you’d signed up for, that old bike insurance you don’t need. Trust us, this is a really satisfying task.
3. Try the envelope method. Although paying in cash is a bad idea during Covid-19, there are lots of digital banking options which allow you to use the “envelope method” with a pre-paid card. If you find it difficult to stick to a budget, simply allocate yourself a set amount each month, then top up your card with this quantity. Ban yourself from topping up the card until the end of the month to help you hit your target.
4. Get fit digitally. Coronavirus lockdown has shown us that there are all sorts of things we can do virtually – and for free! If you had a costly gym membership or personal trainer before the lockdown, now is a great time to cut out the expense and find a digital alternative that works for you. There are thousands of YouTube fitness accounts out there, from Yoga with Adriene to The Body Coach. Subscribe, get sweaty – and save money too!
5. Have fun for free. During self-isolation, we’ve all had to find our own fun. This is a great lesson to take into everyday life, once lockdown ends. Entertaining ourselves without needing to arrange expensive dinners, cinema trips or getaways shows us that we can all have fun, without spending a heap of cash. Take this time to find free hobbies that you love, or new ways to connect with friends which don’t involve a hefty bar tab.