It might be a cliche to say “we’re in a uniquely difficult situation” or “these are totally unprecedented times” however, these things are also true. And whilst there is much worry and doom and gloom being shared across the globe, there are some small changes that can be made, that could have a really significant impact.
The Covid-19 crisis has brought about an unprecedented change in the way many people value the money they earn, and rightly so. This is a time of great uncertainty with many people having already faced redundancies, furlough and pay cuts, as businesses across the world tighten their purse strings and look to save money.
Tandem’s Ricky Knox has put together a few of his top tips for how you can still be making the most of your hard earned cash during the coronavirus lockdown. These are small steps but together they could make a big difference to your financial health.
Use a feature such as Tandem’s in-app feature Autosavings, to automate small incremental savings. Autosavings comprises a set of three rules for putting aside small increments throughout the month. ‘Round-ups’ will round up any purchases to the nearest pound, with the extra going into an interest bearing savings account and the unique ‘safe to save’ rule uses machine learning to calculate how much you can safely save based on your incomings and outgoings and moves that amount over to the same savings account. In addition there is also the ‘weekly deposit’ feature where you can decide a set amount to save each week. Once you have set this amount the rule will automatically transfer those savings for you every week.
If you have a larger deposit already saved up and you’re saving for an event in the future, perhaps a holiday for when lockdown is over, you can lock those funds away in a fixed-saver paying a competitive interest rate. This is also useful to split out your savings funds and avoid dipping in for other things.
Put aside the money you would use to travel into work each day. Most of us (although not all – thank you to all of our key workers!) are working from home and therefore not spending the money we would normally use to commute. As you would have been using this money on a specific thing, put it into a savings account. Don’t spend it on impulse online shopping or signing up to yet another streaming service. Use it to build up your savings pot instead.
A lot of us spend money on coffee, a mid morning snack or an afternoon pick me up. Whilst we are not in the office, put the money you would spend on these daily treats aside so you can build up your rainy day fund.
Similarly, as we can’t unfortunately go out for drinks or dinner right now, add the money you would spend on these social outings to your rainy day fund.
With the extra time many of us may have on our hands you should also research the different types of savings accounts available. This is the best time to read up on the offers available from banks, building societies and fintechs to see who has the best interest rates and what types of accounts they are offering to help you grow your money.
Another way to spend any new found free time is checking if any household bills can be reduced. Switching suppliers for utility, phone and broadband bills is one of the simplest and quickest ways to save money in your home. If you don’t want the headache of leaving one provider and starting again with another, it’s also worth trying to negotiate a better deal with your current provider.
Make sure you are cancelling unwanted direct debits. If you don’t regularly read your bank statement (which you really should start doing!) it can be easy to miss those direct debits you have forgotten to cancel. By cancelling these you are preventing any unnecessary payments that could otherwise go on for months! Get into the habit of regularly logging into your bank account or an aggregator service to make sure you aren’t paying for services you no longer use or no longer want.
Make sure you cancel your Sky or BT sports subscription. If you’re paying for these services whilst it may be the last thing you want to hear, with there being no sporting events being broadcast, you’re literally throwing your hard earned money away.
Don’t stop saving! The ‘end of the world’ feeling can trigger the need to spend recklessly. Make sure you hold back on your spend temptations and make sure that you are still saving what you can so that you are best prepared to deal with any new and unexpected challenges on your bank balance.