Simple ways to save money in the coming weeks and months
If your money situation is looking bleak because of Covid-19 there may be a few tips and tricks to help you cut back without having to make any life-changing decisions.
Handle your money with care
First of all, talk to your employer and work out if you’re entitled to any government help if your earnings have been impacted by the virus. Make a budget that shows how you intend to pay your bills over the next three to six months, including any significant expenses on the horizon. Do you have an interest-free overdraft or savings you could use? Move any outstanding debt to an interest-free option and make sure you pay at least the minimum each month, if not more. If this isn’t possible at the moment, speak to your loan or credit card provider. It may also be worth speaking to an organisation like CAP if you’re struggling financially.
Watch your outgoings
If your outgoings are exceeding your earnings, it may be worth shopping around for a new energy supplier or simply using less energy by turning down the heat and turning devices off when they’re not in use. You could also switch your car insurance, mobile phone, broadband or TV contract. Cancel subscriptions you no longer use, for example gym or magazine subscriptions. It may be possible to take a mortgage holiday or pause a subscription until things are back on track.
Make your food go further. Now might be a good time to use up those loyalty points you’ve been saving up. Buy basic-range supermarket versions of your top-price family favourites and either eat less meat or use cheaper cuts. Dig out that blender and make your own smoothies. Don’t be tempted to panic buy and then end up throwing lots of food away. You can make soups and stews with leftovers and pop them in the freezer for a day when you can’t be bothered to cook. You’ll thank yourself when that day comes! If you’re running out of ways to keep the kids occupied, cook together and treat it as a valuable homeschooling lesson.
Socialise at home. Seeing as you can’t go out for dinner, why not have a movie or games night at home? Get all the family involved and enjoy some delicious food while you hang out (check out voucher sites for money-off deals on takeaways). If you’ve already had enough of the people in your household, harness the power of the internet and have a drink with friends as if you were out on the town. Apps like Skype and Zoom are helping people feel more connected even if they can’t see loved ones in the flesh.
Sell items you don’t need. You could use any spare time at home to have a good clear-out. Not only will this help declutter your home, but you might even find a few bits that are worth selling on eBay, Amazon, Gumtree or another website. If you don’t have much physical stuff you could sell something you have made, for example artwork or music. If you’re part of a community Facebook group you may be able to swap items you don’t need with someone who has something worthwhile to offer in return. This will save you both money and is a nice neighbourly thing to do! Just make sure you are selling/exchanging things cleanly, safely and within government guidelines.