Previous article – What is ‘a SPAC’?
Freetrade referral link – sign up and earn yourself a free share worth up to £200
We’re slowly coming out of lockdown and many of us are eager to spend our money in the places we’ve missed.
Some have been incredibly hard hit by the lockdown, while others have had the forced savings opportunity of a lifetime.
For those lucky enough to have saved a little bit of money, what money lessons can we take from being forced not to spend money as we move back to some semblance of normality?
1. The meal deal lunches
Would this be a personal finance blog without moaning about people spending small fortunes on their weekly lunches?
We’ve been forced to make our own lunches for the last 12 months, saving money as a result. Why not continue to do so and stop the £3-£10+ splurges on bread and filling?
Just £3 a weekday on lunches adds up to over £750 over the course of a year.
If you don’t want to go completely ‘cold turkey’, maybe save it as a Friday treat. Either way, it’s time to unite and (hashtag) take back our lunches.
2. The takeaway coffees
Similar to the above really, we haven’t been able to buy our coffees or frappes for many a month.
But we’ve all managed without right?
Let’s continue making our own lockdown brews, dust off the reusable cup and save ourselves some pennies sipping on our beveraginies.
3. Why drive when we can walk?
I was a big old lard arse, avoiding walking short distances, before lockdown hit.
The local shops are only a short trip across a nice little protected grassy area, but I still took the car most of the time; especially in less desirable weather.
With many of us having got our step on over lockdown, whether through step challenges, acquiring a new furry companion, or simply for the chance to be outside for a bit, we can save money on petrol AND help reduce harm to the environment by walking when we might normally have driven.
But please, PLEASE don’t litter. I litter pick on a weekly basis and the amount of crap (sometimes literally) left in the park over lockdown compared to before – probably because of the sheer increase in foot traffic – is unreal. Please secure your unused dog poo bags in your pockets, they’re the biggest culprit.
4. Reduce your mileage
And again, following on from the previous point, remember to play around with your car insurance renewal.
If you are walking more, and as a result, driving less, see if you can decrease your premium by reducing your mileage.
This is going to depend a lot on if your company is going to allow you to keep working from home (at least partially). But this is even more a reason to press your work and emphasise you CAN continue working efficiently to help you save a few bob on petrol and mileage.
5. No waste weekly shops
What a shit show the first few weeks of lockdown were.
The amount of ridiculous panic buying and spending on non-perishables saw shelves left barren even of the most basic of goods.
All I could think of was how much food wastage there must have been during that time.
Now 12 months on, let’s learn from this. As even in the face of an unknown, deadly virus, it won’t be the lack of toilet roll or Hobnobs that proves fatal.
Let’s be a little smarter with our weekly shops and buy what we need and will use, rather than piling our trollies high with perishables that will just end up in a landfill.
Remember if you run out you can always go and get more. If you buy too much then you’re guaranteed to waste food and money.
Yes it might require another quick trip to the shops, but what a good excuse to enact on point 3.
6. Support independent and local
And finally, in contrast to the first two points, let’s buy independent and local.
If you decide to treat yourself to one of these points, let’s try and buy coffee from a local cafe, or a sandwich from the local deli.
It’s easier said than done nowadays, but it makes a difference…plus it usually tastes better too.
It’s not just sandwiches and coffee we should be trying to buy locally or from independents. The U.K has a fantastic beer scene. There’s a good chance your local area has a small brewery not too far away; give it a Google.
Likewise, clothing and jewellery, handmade items and little birthday trinkets. There’s loads of options out there both online and hidden away in little makeshift shopping units.
I always try to make a concerted effort to buy at least one gift for a birthday/ Christmas from somewhere like this. It doesn’t have to be expensive – sometimes just a little handmade card – but if we all did it we’d have a lot more local businesses to enjoy.