At the start of the year, we shared our tips for setting your savings goals for 2020. But no one could have predicted what was to come. It wouldn’t be surprising if the plans and budgets you set for yourself back then didn’t make sense anymore. And while budgeting can be stressful enough, it can be even trickier amid an ongoing pandemic.
Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to go back and reevaluate your budget to set yourself up for better spending habits in a post-Covid-19 world. So with that in mind, we’ve gathered some areas of your budget that may need another look to help get you through the last few months of 2020.
Are you still working remotely and not commuting as often (or not at all)? Can you afford to lose your monthly public transport pass, even if just for the time being? If so, this is something you might want to consider doing. And this is only one example of areas in your budget that you could consider adjusting. For more ideas on where you might be able to cut back, go here.
If you were planning a getaway this year that you weren’t able to make due to coronavirus travel restrictions, your holiday money could now go towards something else. If you’re having trouble getting a refund back from an airline or other travel company, read our advice here. You can save, invest or put your 2020 travel money towards a different area of your budget instead. This could be areas that may require an increase due to the pandemic, such as...
Food and groceries
This is probably where you might be allocating most of your budget now with all the extra time spent at home. Some of us were used to eating snacks at the office or drinking coffee provided to us by our workplace — well, not anymore! These expenses are now coming out of the pockets of many at-home workers, so what you would have budgeted last year for food and groceries may have understandably gone up in 2020. So for the remaining few months, continue to be generous with this area of your budget.
It seems hard to believe, but the holiday season is less than 100 days away! And given the unprecedented circumstances, you may want to start preparing even earlier this year. But remember to stay reasonable. If you need to cut back, do it. While you may have wanted to go all out for your loved ones this Christmas, keep in mind that we’re still amid a pandemic and an economic crisis. Therefore, your holiday shopping budget may not be as big as usual — but your true friends and family should understand. So make a list, check it twice and, most importantly, stick to it! If you’d like some budget-friendly gift ideas, check out our guide.
If this coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that every budget should include an area for emergency savings. We could be in for another wave, so it’s best to be prepared and plan for an uncertain future. So if you can tuck some money away, do so. If you need help getting started on building an emergency fund, you can learn more here.
Don’t forget to take advantage of Monese pots to help keep your savings separate from your day-to-day spending. You can even build up to 10 pots to save for different parts of your budget all at once. Round up your transactions and multiply them by up to 10 to help you save even faster. Finally, remember to set your weekly or monthly budget in your app, and check your spending overview screen often to make sure you’re staying on track.
With all that said, when redoing your budget, it’s important to reflect and examine the new lifestyle you’ve adopted in 2020. What are some habits you’ve picked up this year that you’ll stick to when this is long over, and which are only temporary lifestyle changes? For example, if you’ve truly gotten used to cooking at home and are loving it, you may no longer have a need anymore to allocate such a large part of your budget towards entertainment and eating out.