Financial recovery during lockdown – It’s doable!
Help with money from Logbook Loans…
We are living through very strange and difficult times. All of us at Logbook Loans send you our very best wishes if you have been ill yourself, or others in your family have suffered from Covid-19.
But even if you and your family are fortunate enough to be well during the pandemic, the lockdown measures are affecting everyone in many different ways. A significant one of these is financially.
In a recent article we looked at various ways that you can get financial help during this time, depending on your work circumstances. We hope that you are now receiving any payments and benefits to which you are entitled and are managing to get through Covid-19.
But some people are beginning to find that, now the initial panic is over, they actually have the opportunity to sort out their finances during lockdown. Here’s how:
Reallocate money that you would normally spend
There will be some things that you probably spend more on during lockdown, such as food and energy. See our tips below on how to save money on both of those.
But there will definitely be things that you are not spending as much money on, if anything at all. For example:
- Eating out
- Cinemas, shows and gigs
- Personal grooming
- Home and garden
We all know that money sometimes just seems to disappear! It’s as if it evaporates in our bank account. Don’t let this happen. Work out how much you normally spend on the above items and use that money somewhere else. Either put it into a savings account or use it to make an extra payment on your credit card or mortgage. But do put it to good use rather than fritter it away.
Reduce your bills
Many of us have a little bit more time on our hands during lockdown. Even if you do not, perhaps there is someone else in your home who could help?
What you need to do is go through all your bills to see if you could save money anywhere. Yes, this is the kind of job that we all put off: but now is a really good time to catch up with it all.
So take the time to go through your bank statement and make a list of all your bills. For each bill, there are three questions to ask yourself:
- Is this bill really essential?
Covid-19 and lockdown have given many of us a new sense of perspective. We have been put in a situation where we have had to live more simply and have not been able to get everything we normally have. And perhaps that has made us realise that some things just don’t seem important any more. So if there are bills or subscriptions or other things that you don’t really want, then cancel them to save money.
- Could I get a better deal?
Competition is very fierce amongst companies such as TV/broadband, phones, energy, insurance and many other sectors. So if you are not happy with the amount you are paying for any of your bills it is worth checking the competition to see if you can get a better deal. There are various websites and apps that can help you to do this, for example Money Supermarket, Uswitch and Look After My Bills.
- Can I save money by using less?
Once you have decided on your essential bills and have got the best deal possible, you can still save money by being careful about what you use. For example, during lockdown it is very easy to use too much energy by leaving appliances, lights and heating on when you don’t really need them. We can also spend way too much on entertainment – such as streaming movies – without really thinking about it. The key is to be careful about what we use and always be conscious of trying to reduce bills and save money.
Spend less on food
As we said earlier, many of us are finding that we are spending a lot more money on food during lockdown. In a way, this is inevitable. Everyone is at home all the time, and no-one is eating out any more. And it’s tempting to over indulge and buy much more than you need to, so that everyone can comfort eat.
But it is possible to have lots of lovely food in the home without spending a fortune. It was interesting that Tesco have found that many people are now starting to do a big weekly shop again, instead of the growing trend of shopping little and often. This has happened because of lockdown, but can also be a helpful way of saving money. The key thing is planning.
Before you go shopping, check what items are already in your cupboards, fridge and freezer. You can then plan your meals for the next few days, using ingredients that you already have wherever possible. That way, you will have less new items to buy.
Make a list to ensure that you don’t forget anything. But while shopping, also look out for bargains that you will definitely be able to use. Beware offers like BOGOF if you know you won’t actually use both items, but do keep in mind the need to replenish your stocks as you go.
If you manage to buy additional ingredients at a bargain price then you could spend time batch cooking. You can often make two meals for not much more additional cost, then freeze one for later.
Doing one big shop also makes you realise how many non-essential items we tend to buy, especially if we are usually always popping to the shops. Whether it’s sweets, biscuits, cakes, crisps, alcohol or fizzy drinks, we can end up spending far too much. Shopping less often can help us to ration these items so that we can still enjoy them from time to time, but are not constantly wasting money.
We hope that the above tips help you to save money and sort out your finances during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Check back here soon for more lifestyle, financial and motoring tips from Logbook Loans.