As we slowly emerge from our lockdowns across the world, the idea of trying to save money during a pandemic seems impossible. That’s far from the case. Many people have lost their jobs and businesses are having to adapt swiftly. It’s good to remember that saving money doesn’t necessarily mean transferring lump sums into a savings account.
Here are four ways to save more during a pandemic:
Start a small change emergency fund
I’ve always been an advocate for people saving their small change because it really does add up as time goes on. Creating a small emergency fund can help you with unexpected expenses that can come up when isolating. Think of those times you’ve had to run to the corner shop for essentials. Saving your small change after you’ve done your weekly shop or when you have spent a money note can come in handy when you really need it.
Slash your subscriptions
We’re all guilty for having one too many subscriptions that we don’t need. More than £2 billion is spent on subscriptions every year in the UK and over 60% of people have subscribed to Amazon Prime alone (Finder, 2020). Cancelling subscriptions that you don’t use frequently can save you some extra money during these uncertain times, and you may find that you didn’t need that subscription after all. We also know that there’s just some things we can’t let go.
Cut back on electricity use
During the pandemic, we have all been home more than usual. The average electricity bill for a UK resident in 2019 was £58 a month (Davis, 2019). This was before we were isolated for over three months causing us to burn much more. With the slow easing of the lockdown and people returning to work, there is more opportunity to save money on utilities such as electric. By turning off appliances that aren’t in use often, you can consistently cut your electric bill during a pandemic and after.
Try cooking your favourite foods more
If this pandemic has shown us anything, it is that there are many of us are chefs in the kitchen. According to the Independent, more than a fifth of the UK were cooking every meal from scratch during quarantine compared to one in eight before the lockdown (Hughes, 2020). A study of almost 2,000 adults highlighted that cooking became a new found favourite for the nation. Now that pubs and restaurants are re-opening, and more takeaways are becoming available for delivery, it can be tempting to go on a spending spree. Try creating a more balanced eating habit where you substitute your favourite takeaways for some of your new home recipes.
2020 has been a challenging year for us all, and it is significant to note that it will take time for people to get back on track. That is okay. Tailor your saving methods to your lifestyle, and don’t forget to treat yourself from time to time.
T K Williams-Nelson