What does coming out of lockdown mean for your finances?
The last 17 months have affected us and our finances all differently. Some individuals have been able to save vast amounts of money, while others have been on reduced pay or sadly lost their jobs.
It will be very different for a while, shops are open, the summer holidays are here and you’ll be seeing friends and family.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you adjust to the new normal and to ensure you are in control of your spending habits.
Invest in your savings
Saving money allows you to enjoy greater security in your life and can help with financial stress.
Over lockdown many people have had a chance to save some extra pennies, but it also gave us a chance to stop and thinking about what we want in the future and what we want from life. It could be a much needed holiday, a new car or a new home, but it allows us to get into the saving mindset and thinking about how we achieve that goal.
It is tempting to go wild… book holidays, revamp your wardrobe and do all of the things we missed out on. One of the key things Covid taught us was about having a financial safety net and ensuring that we had the money for those rainy days.
According to the Money Advice Service, a good rule of thumb is to put together a fund that can cover three months of household expenses.
Be on budget
Budget, that is a word that we haven’t thought of for a while. With many of us driving less, not popping out for a coffee or a spontaneous lunch, we haven’t had to pay as much attention to our outgoings. It is a good idea to reestablish how much you have monthly and how much can be allocated to different expenses. Understanding where your money is going is the first step to financial wellbeing.
Stay on top of your finances
It’s so vitally important that you always know where you are financially, at all times, how much is in your current account, savings account etc. This ensures your financial security but also means that you can spot any payments that shouldn’t be there. According to TotallyMoney, 1 in 12 people admit they wouldn’t spot a rogue £20 entry on their statement. If the payment isn’t right then chase it up ASAP, even if it’s only by a tiny amount.
Here are some top tips:
- Check your bank statements regularly
- Keep all of your important documents in one place
- Hold on to your receipts
- Understand where you spend your money
There was a devastating surge of scams as fraudsters and criminals took advantage of consumers who turned online for shopping and communicating across the pandemic.
The consumer body Which? found that in the year to April 2021, 413,553 instances of fraud were reported in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – an increase of 33% on the previous 12 months at a cost of more than £2.3bn.
We recently shared a blog about the top scams to watch out for – this list included phishing texts and emails, fake websites and scammers exploiting HMRC changes and NHS vaccinations.
It has been a tough year, so be sure that you have fun, spend time with loved ones and make memories. Don’t be hard on yourself if you want that special day out, or you want to splurge on a staycation.
Ultimately, we all deserve to enjoy ourselves in a safe and sensible manner and have more than earned the right to do so!
Has lockdown had an effect on your finances? Email the team at email@example.com.