With the UK officially entering the biggest recession in the country’s history and many industries still struggling to survive, a growing percentage of people are now out of work, furloughed, or need to lower their expenses. If you were affected financially by the Covid-19 pandemic, you might be wondering how to save more during these uncertain times. But don’t worry, there are many opportunities to lower your budget. We’ve put together several ideas for you:
Call All Your Insurance Providers
When it comes to insurance, the advice has always been to shop around. However, we don’t always have the time to. If you have more free time at the moment due to the Covid-19 crisis, it’s a good opportunity to pick up the phone or send an email to see if you can get a better deal on your insurance. With fewer people driving, some auto insurers are already lowering premiums on car insurance. If you haven’t been offered a discount yet, call your insurance provider and explain why you’re driving less.
You should review all your insurance policies, from home to life or phone. Then, educate yourself by shopping around, asking for multiple quotes and reading policies to understand the T&Cs before signing up.
You may also be able to save on your mobile phone contract right now. For example, does your plan include unlimited data? Well, if you’re working from home or generally spending more time at home, you won’t need as much data as before.
Cancel Subscriptions You No Longer Need
It’s very easy to subscribe to services and then forget about them. From iCloud storage to streaming services or meal subscription boxes, we tend to have lots of subscriptions. Next, look at reoccurring charges on your credit or debit cards: it could be Spotify, Audible, Amazon Prime or Netflix. Finally, do you use everything you are paying for? You don’t need to scratch them all, but if you’re paying for multiple streaming platforms, perhaps you could keep the one you use the most and cut the rest.
Save Money on Food
One of the areas where you could potentially save the most is food. First of all, if you’ve recently lost your job or you’re working from home, you are quite possibly already spending less on takeaway food and coffees. Keep up this habit and cook your own meals, snacks and desserts. While you have a little more time, you could search for recipes that suit a lower budget. Oatmeal instead of avocado toast can be a good start.
If you usually buy brand names, you could lower the amount of money you spend on your weekly shop by buying supermarket own brands. Supermarkets own brands have vastly improved over the years, so they provide great value. Try swapping big name brands for cheaper alternatives, and you might be surprised!
Furthermore, you should always make a shopping list. There’s a reason why this advice is repeated time and time again – it works! Shopping with a list ensures you stay on budget and stops you from impulse buying. As an added bonus, when we should avoid too many outings in public spaces, you’ll save yourself a lot of effort by not making multiple trips to the supermarket because you forgot something. An extra tip: never go food shopping on an empty stomach as you’re more likely to buy items not on your list to satisfy your cravings.
Switch Your Bank Account
Banks are always keen to gain new customers, so they often offer incentives such as vouchers or gifts if you switch your account. Furthermore, some banks offer money in exchange for feedback on why you weren’t satisfied with them. You can easily make £100 or more this way, for minimal time and effort.
Avoid the ‘I Deserve It’ Habit
It might be tempting, but don’t fall into the ‘I deserve it’ habit, especially with bars, restaurants, and other temptations opening again. Think long term! Spending money is your right, and you worked hard for it, but be mindful of how you spend your money in a way that is valuable to you and your future. One suggestion would be to create a budget for purchases such as clothes, cosmetics, eating out and other activities.
Take Advantage of Vouchers
A smart way of saving money during this time is to take advantage of any vouchers or coupons generated by the stores you normally shop at. Thankfully, there are tonnes to choose from online from all the big named brands, so you don’t have to worry about spending out more on your essential items than you can realistically afford.
Sell Your Unwanted Things
This one isn’t about saving money, but MAKING money. For example, eBay has 15 categories, making it the eclectic vendor’s favourite site. Sellers have the choice to open an auction or sell something for a fixed price with the ‘Buy it Now’ option. You can sell anything from art, collector’s items, electronics, and clothes. When you search for the item you would like to sell, it is advised you do some research on the value of that item. For instance, eBay allows you to only search for items that have already been sold. You can look at the prices of similar items sold and use that as a base for pricing your own.
You can also use Facebook Marketplace, where you can sell items based on your location. This is ideal if you have larger items like car parts or furniture. You can see how many views your listing gets and compare this to the number of inquiries you receive. This information will help you determine when to change photos, pricing or keywords to better guarantee success.