By Vincent Reboul, Managing Director at Hitachi Personal Finance
Looking to boost your savings while staying indoors? Experts at Hitachi Personal Finance share five easy money-saving tips that you can try during lockdown, to save money while we stay home.
- Cancel unnecessary memberships
Although you may want to keep your Netflix subscription, there are a number of memberships that you may be able to cancel or freeze. Gyms such as Nuffield Health and PureGym are allowing members to freeze memberships, while some gyms have automatically frozen membership payments. Check with your gym directly if you’re unsure.
Check your direct debits and take steps to cancel any subscriptions that are no longer needed. However, always check your terms and conditions, as many companies charge fees for cancelling without notice.
- Plan your shopping
It can be stressful going to the supermarket at the moment, so it’s easy to end up buying items you don’t necessarily need. To combat this, write out a list of what you need for the week ahead and make sure you stick to it.
Avoid overstocking on items that have long shelf lives, as this is an unnecessary short term cost. Also, make sure that you are getting rewarded for your spending where possible by signing up for relevant loyalty cards.
- Check any ticket bookings
If you have booked travel or event tickets in advance, you may be eligible for a refund or voucher to rebook at a later date, so check with the relevant provider to see what you are entitled to in case of cancellations.
If you have a holiday booked and have travel insurance, your policy may cover cancellations due to the current circumstances. If you don’t have insurance you will most likely still be entitled to a refund or voucher to rebook – always check with your providers and see if you can recoup your payments.
- Create/revise your budget
With many people facing changes to their income and outgoings, there’s never been a better time to revisit your budget or create one if you haven’t already.
Totting up all of your outgoings and placing this in a separate account is a great way to ensure your bills and essentials are covered each month. The remaining money can be used as disposable income, or put away into a savings account to boost your savings even further.
Adopting a budget tracker and using this to note down all your bills, savings and spends throughout the month will allow you to take full ownership of your finances.
It can be overwhelming to think about everything that needs to come in and out of your bank account each month. Keeping track of this in an Excel sheet with pre-set formulas, or simply keeping a budget in a notebook if you’re not Excel-savvy, makes it easy to identify when you could have more or less disposable income in the month than you expect. You can download Hitachi Personal Finance’s easy-to-use budget planner template here.
- Make savings an essential cost
When receiving your salary and working out your outgoings for the month ahead, try classing savings as a necessary bill. Even if it’s just a small amount of your income, savings add up over time and before you know it you have a pot of money that you can put towards a big purchase.
With your savings, it’s important to be realistic. Don’t feel like you need to put away large chunks of money straight away as this is unattainable, and instead get into the routine of putting away affordable amounts on a regular basis, while still treating yourself from time to time.
Vincent Reboul, Managing Director at Hitachi Personal Finance added: “While we stay indoors and can’t enjoy usual activities such as going out for food or drinks, it can be a great chance to start saving – if you are in the position to do so.
“From cancelling memberships we can’t use to checking any pre-existing bookings, hopefully these tips will help anyone start saving regular amounts each month, to spend or put towards something you’ve always wanted once lockdown restrictions have lifted!”