We know no-one likes to talk about money. We Brits are predisposed to find talking about cash and our finances uncomfortable. We are a nation bent on avoiding discussions around this area – especially when times are troubling. Now, more than ever, is the time to do away with the uncomfortable conversation about our bank balances, and to really look at how we can save each week and make our funds stretch that little bit further.
Our STS team have been discussing cost cutting, money saving ideas with each other over the last weeks, and we’ve put what we think are the most helpful in a list below. We don’t claim to be experts by any means but we wanted to share what we have found has helped us so far during lockdown.
Ashley’s top Tip:
Pause all your subscriptions
A small tip but potentially a big impact! Let’s face it there is no football or Rugby on at the moment so you can’t keep up with your teams on the telly anyway. I managed to save just shy of £30 by temporarily pausing my Sky Tv, BT sports and other subscriptions. If like our team you have subscriptions you can avoid, think about pausing them for the time being until things settle down, reassess – do you really need it? With two small girls in the house the thought of getting rid of Disney+ just wasn’t worth the hassle but sport…it had to go.
Candace’s top Tip:
Take a look at your savings accounts
I get it…”savings” sounds like a fairy tale at times like this, we know, but if you are smart with how you save you could be on to a winner. Its common sense to know at troubling times we need to live within our means and set a budget. Sit down, look at what you are spending and go from there. I am lucky enough to have low monthly outgoings but I still work out a monthly budget and set anything extra, no matter the amount, into a savings account. Typically the savings account with the best rates tend to only let you deposit small amounts each month, you can open a couple and make the most of the rate this way instead of lumping larger amounts in each month.
This also means that you are less likely to dip into your current account. If you have what you need for the month you are more likely to monitor your spend and live within your means – no one wants to have to dip into savings to pay for an impulse buy!
Vince’s top Tips:
Delete, Defer & Don’t Touch
My wife and I sat down and really looked at everything. We analysed the costs for us and the kids on a monthly basis and broke it down into “Delete”, “Defer” and “Don’t touch” – meaning you are getting rid of any unnecessary spending. Delete if you don’t need it right now, defer if you move the expense to give yourself some breathing space or don’t touch if it is a necessary spend.
Think About Your Output
Most modern homes, especially for those with growing families, tend to guzzle electricity. Taking a look at your house hold electrical output can save you some pennies. We’ve got two freezers, for the time being we’ve unplugged one and amalgamated all our food into the other. We’ve also started running the washing appliances later in the day to avoid peak times, and we have limited how many times a day these electrical appliances are used. Small changes will make a big difference to your spend – If you have a smart meter, put it somewhere you’ll see, a constant reminder is always a good way to trigger that “turn the lights off” moment.
Leslie’s top Tips:
Shopping as we mentioned in our last blog has become somewhat of a nightmare. Whether you are doing your grocery shopping online or if, like myself and my fiancé, you are having to brave it and social distance to the best of your ability, make a list! I can’t stress how important it is to take stock of what you have at home and write a list for your shopping. Make a list, check it and don’t deviate. Especially if you are venturing outside it not only important to reduce the amount of time you are out but also the bill too. We are all guilty of impulse buying random bits and pieces while doing our shopping.
Timing is everything – Offers Galore!
Apparently I think about food shopping A LOT. With everything that is going on there are so many items on offer, people aren’t shopping the way they did a few weeks ago so if you time your shopping trip right, you’ll be able to hit the aisle for the offers. We came home with £50 worth of food shopping last week for £22! Our freezer is now stocked up all because we went to the shop around 4pm and headed straight to the “Offers” section of our supermarket – My freezer has become my new best friend.
We are sure you are already looking at your budgets and finances from our team here at STS, and we hope you found our tips at least a little helpful. We know there are a million other ways to save money and if you need more robust advice on coping with living in lockdown and your finances, we’d recommend heading to Money Saving Expert. It’s a great source for support and guidance.
Stay Safe. Stay inside.