There’s nothing worse than being on the brink of a worldwide economic collapse with no savings. At least, that’s what I’m looking at myself as Coronavirus shreds through the planet.
Every day we’re hearing new good news and less bad news, but there’s still weeks (or even months) of uncertainty ahead of us. If you’re self isolating or in quarantine, it’s important you stay feeling productive. You’re statistically more likely to spend money you don’t have if you’re bored or unmotivated.
3 Financial Tips To Help You With COVID-19
My Coronavirus future looks something like this: on the 28th March, myself and my boyfriend switch to the emergency budget. I will be earning just enough to cover every bill safely through the month(s). He’s looking towards weeks of sick pay. Here’s my 3 financial tips to help you get through these next few months.
1 – Reduce your bills.
In a spreadsheet, or on a bit of paper, write the numbers 1 through 31 down the left hand side. Then go through your direct debits, your banking history (which can be accessed through mobile or online banking) and list which bill comes out on which day, and how much it is.
Use this visual to re-evaluate which bills are necessary (utilities, paying off credit cards) and which are not likely to be used relatively soon (gym memberships, subscriptions). Where possible, reduce the amount of money coming out of your bank account. It can be quite shocking exactly how much you spend unnecessarily. There’s probably a few things you’re paying for that you don’t even realise. Now’s the time to cancel!
It may even be safer to stick to paying the minimum monthly payment for your credit cards for a little bit, just to free up a few extra pounds. Make sure you leave the cards somewhere you can’t get to them, and remove the cards from easy payment gateways such as Paypal. You’ll significantly reduce the amount you spend on them if you make it difficult for yourself.
This should free up even a few pounds a month, which could be a lifesaver if the time comes.
2 – Round up your spending.
On Monzo this can be done automatically by setting up a savings pot, or if you are happy to do this manually or through a third party app that’s fine too.
Rounding up your spending to the nearest pound can help you save a lot more money than you realise. Even if you have to dip into it, having that money set aside will be helpful in the future.
In this same category, I’d also suggest putting anything from £0.20p to £1 a week in this pot (whatever you can spare!). These little boosts all add up over time and can help cover a smaller bill.
3 – Stock-check your cupboards and plan meals.
Check what cans, tins, jars, packets you have stored in your cupboards and take note. See what’s hidden behind other things in your freezer. Keep a list of everything you have and see what meals you can make out of it.
You’re likely to have more food than you think you have, and from here you can plan weekly meals. When doing your weekly, fortnightly, or monthly shop, buy long-lasting but also buy to a meal plan. Think about what you can make ahead of time for breakfast for the week, small but fulfilling lunches and satisfying dinners. Buy those flour packets of pre-made breadmix you just add water to so you can make a few bread rolls here and there to save on food waste.
This is where you can get most creative. Preventing food waste means you’ll save money in the long run.
The year ahead of us is uncertain but with good planning & preparation, it’s likely to be something we all just about scrape through.