As Covid-19 restrictions start to lift, we’re finally allowed to go out and enjoy a cold pint in a beer garden again, get our nails done and get rid of that lockdown hair.
During this unusual past year, many of us have managed to save more money than we have ever done in the past. However, our recent poll of 1,000 UK residents has revealed that over half (51%) are concerned about how much more they’ll start spending now that restrictions are being lifted. Of these, it seems those aged 25–34 are the most worried (72%), alongside residents of London (67%).
With this in mind, we’ve put together a few tips to help you stay in control of your outgoings while enjoying a little slice of long-awaited normality.
As we start spending less time at home, it’s inevitable that some of our “extra” expenses will go up again. Of course, rent and bills come first, but we all need a little something to splurge on after so many months being stuck indoors! Our survey has revealed that people think they’ll spend the most money in restaurants (45%), at shops and shopping centres (43%), at pubs and bars (37%) and at hairdressers or barbers (36%).
Whether it’s pints with friends or a shopping spree, make sure you calculate how much you can afford to spend on any additional luxuries each month. With Monese, you can easily give yourself a weekly or monthly spending budget to ease you back into it.
Swap to stretch your budget
If you’ve worked out that you don’t have loads of budget to work with then you might need to prioritise and adjust expenses accordingly. For example, two extra pints means one less takeaway, or a meal out could mean not buying those jeans online.
Don’t dip into savings
Whether you’ve managed to save more in lockdown or not, it’s important to make sure you don’t make a dent in your savings for non-essential expenses. But if it happens, set up a Recurring Payment to your savings pot on the same day you receive your salary. This way you can slowly start to “pay yourself back” and keep that money for rainy days or get back on track with any other savings goals.
With Monese, you can create up to 10 different pots to help keep your savings separate from everyday spending, so you have money for when you really need it.
Don’t lose track of spending
It’s essential that you keep an eye on how much is coming in and how much will now be going out each month.
With Monese you can get a PDF or Excel statement straight from the app for any date range you need, so you can visualise exactly when, where and how you spent your money. You can also make use of the Spending Overview feature, which neatly categorises your spending into 15 different lifestyle categories. You should make a habit of checking this and your account daily so you know exactly what you have left to spend. Plus, set up instant notifications for detailed transaction descriptions every time you buy.
Spread out your outings
Of course, it’s only natural that you might want to get a haircut, go to the pub and enjoy a meal out all in the same week, but that may not be the smartest move. Spreading out your treats not only gives you something to look forward to each week, but also means you’re less likely to overspend and be left with nothing (or close to nothing) in just a week alone.
Enlist the help of others
If you know you’re not good at resisting that new jacket or a trip to the pub, then ask your family or friends to help you. Let them know you need to stick to a budget and looking for their support. Some of your friends may be worried about overspending too, and knowing someone else feels the same and are in it together, can make sticking to a budget so much easier.
Think before you buy
If you’ve spotted something you want to buy, walk away from the purchase and sleep on it before you complete the transaction. If you wake up and still think you’d really like to buy it, and can afford it, then go for it. More often than not, though, you may change your mind or decide you’d actually rather to wait until you’ve saved up for it.
Hide social media ads
Spending will power is hard to maintain, especially when we're bombarded with targeted adverts on social media all the time. But you can hide these if you’re worried you'll be tempted to splash your cash. On Facebook and Instagram, you can click the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the ad to select a hide option.
Try budget-friendly outings
You don’t need to splurge on dinner and drinks to be sociable with friends. Instead, you could organise a picnic in your local park. It’ll work out much cheaper than dining out and will still feel really special after weeks of being stuck at home!
If you’re looking forward to a long-awaited night out, you might be considering buying a new outfit. However, rather than hitting the shopping centre, you could look around your local charity shops first. With so many people having clearouts during lockdown, you might be surprised at what you unique, low-cost treasures could be waiting for you! You’re also helping a charity too, so it's a win-win.
Don't forget to also check out places like Facebook Marketplace for bargains. This can be particularly good if you’re looking for items for your home or garden. You can set up alerts for specific items so you don’t miss out when that perfect listing goes live!
These tips should help you stay on track with your budget, while not dipping into savings and still allow you to have some much-needed fun! Let us know how you plan on getting back out there while keeping your spending in check. Share your tips and tricks with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Methodology Survey of 1,000 UK adults completed in April 2021.