We hope you are all well and healthy. We have provided some financial advice to help you get through there struggling times.
Courtesy of CroydonPlus Credit Union
Whilst the coronavirus pandemic has been financially damaging for many across the nation, there has been a sign of hope for others. With lockdowns taking place, some say they have had to cut back costs wherever possible to save money. The younger generation has been the most impacted with a high increase in job cuts, redundancies or businesses closing perinatally due to industries been dramatically affected or not being able to function to full capacity. For many for you across the country, stress levels have been at an all-time high due to the heavy unemployment landscape and the job market offering fewer employment opportunities. There are many things that you can do to get those extra savings and cut costs back where necessary. This is the perfect time to get on top of your money management and save. Whilst you might be saving costs already by not travelling into work or not buying overpriced lunches, there are some extra steps you can take to maximise your savings during these uncertain times.
- Declutter and sell all your unwanted items
You’ve probably like many of us already started decluttering and tidying up your house and have a few piles waiting to either go to the dump or the charity shop. It would be worth considering if you could sell some of those items online somewhere like; eBay or Depop and many more where you can well your unwanted items whilst making a bit of extra cash on the side.
- Create an emergency fund
Savings can be used for all sorts of reasons, but it can be used for emergencies which might occur, for example; home repairs or medical bills etc. It helps to have your savings account separated from your current account, which makes your life easier as you won’t be tempted to withdraw it. Setting up a standing order to regularly deposit an amount of money which you can still afford to spare automatically goes into the savings account you set up.
- Think before you buy
It is always good practice to think about a purchase before actually buying it. Many different things can happen over time where you might find a better offer somewhere else or later down on the line when things are cheaper, for example; Black Friday or Boxing day sales. Or you might even think later on that you didn’t even really need or want the thing as much as you thought you did.
- Consider looking around at other bank accounts
Your current bank might be offering you an excellent deal to you, but you won’t know until you do a little digging of your own into what other bank accounts are out there. Many different banks offer a wide variety of incentives which are better than what other people offer for example; gift vouchers, the high interest rate for the first 12 months or a £100 deposit amount when you open the account which varies with every provider. Take some time to do some research into what would best suit your needs and if there is a bank account which offers you better incentives than you are getting currently. Remember that Credit Unions are a great place to start saving and they offer competitive interest rates on loans for their members!
- Consider cancelling any direct debts or cutting costs to any of your bills where possible
Before the lockdown, we were all active go about our daily lives as usual, but now things have changed we aren’t going out as much as we use to for example; going to the gym. If you have a gym membership, it might be worth seeing if you can cancel your direct debit as you could work out instead in your local park or around the area you live. Another area you could look at is your mobile phone contact depending on the terms of your contact you should look into seeing if you could cut down the data as you might not need it as much same with phone calls and text messages. This might save you some extra money each month as you might not be using the full capacity of what you are paying as you are more often at home.
- Food shopping cuts
By buying supermarket own-brand foods, you can cut the cost of your weekly shop by half. If you are a food brand lover, your weekly food shop is likely to be on the more expensive side. Supermarket own brands have come a long way and offer great value for your money without skipping on the quality. Next time you are food shopping check out the cheaper alternative because you might be quite surprised as they are usually the same or even better. Another way of saving on your food bill is to buy food at the end of the day as they will be near to the end of their shelf life and heavily discounted. These kinds of food options are displayed at the end of the day, which can save you a lot in savings. Another quick and easy cut back on high fruit and vegetable costs is to buy the frozen option instead. The frozen options tend to retain more of their nutrients than fresh fruit and vegetables as they are picked and frozen relatively quickly afterwards. One final tip is you can also save money by cooking your meals at home from scratch instead of buying takeaways or going out to eat.