Considering we are not allowed to leave our houses, you would think saving money would be easy peasy lemon squeezy.
However, saving money is proving to be lemon, lemon, difficult, difficult as I constantly find myself ‘needing’ new items and Deliveroo’s deals of the day.
(If you’re supporting local businesses you’re doing more good than harm though right?)
However, this outbreak has been a real eye-opener in how quickly everyday life can completely change and I may need to re-evaluate some of my spending habits (there is more to life than online shopping, would you believe it?).
So here we have it, 7 ways to save during isolation.
1. Bills and Subscriptions
Do you really need to be subscribed to 4 different streaming services?
The time has come to go through your bank statements and to make a note of exactly what is leaving your account. Do you need them all? I’m not expecting you to get rid of them all (now that would be cruel), but see if you can whittle them down just by a few! Even better, can you share the subscription with someone - pay half each?
Now bills, aka the bane of my life. There is no better time than the present to hop onto money supermarket and do some digging for the best offers out there. See what companies your friends use, often many of them have a refer a friend promotion which will benefit you and your pal, a double whammy.
2. Scrap the gym, do your own workouts
Isn’t it amazing how many of your friends can suddenly run 5k when pre-lockdown they used to get out of breath walking up the stairs?
If isolation has made me realise anything, it is that I don’t need to be forking out on the gym every month.
There are ENDLESS (literally, there is no end) at home workout videos online nowadays. I admit, it is harder to find the motivation for 50 jumping jacks when your bed is looking back at you, but they’re FREE?! How can you say no to free workout classes?
By simply saving £25 a month (depending on how fancy your gym is) it can equal a HUGE saving of £300 a year!
3. Cash in the attic
Do you remember when you looked at the pile of junk and old clothes under your bed, in your loft, shoved in the boiler cupboard and said ‘i’ll do it later’? Well, the time has come, it is later. So get a wiggle on and get sorting through your clutter.
You’re guaranteed to be pulling out some golden oldies worth some pretty pennies that deserve a second lease of life. Gone are the days of fast-fashion, it’s all about second-hand and sustainable fashion now. So get out the camera, take a few snaps of your beloved items and head on over to second hand sites like eBay, Shpock or Depop to earn some extra dolla.
4. Balling on a budget
Time to get spread-sheetin'
No more splashing the cash, it’s time to learn some self control when it comes to spending and creating a budget is the perfect way to hold yourself accountable.
Begin by adding in any fixed monthly costs such as bills, rent, car insurance, your phone bill etc. Next, add in your variable monthly spends, for example estimated petrol costs and food shopping. Now, the hard bit comes in. You’ve still gotta treat yourself and allow spending for fun activities such as going out for dinner or on a cheeky shopping trip. But remember, every bit of extra discretionary spending adds up. Be harsh on yourself, allow room in your budget for personal care but try and keep it to the minimal.
Budgeting will open your eyes to your spending habits and will allow you to track your financial goals, helping you save those important pennies along the way.
5. Become an upcycling babe
Upcycling (also known as creative reuse), is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value.
It’s understandable, we grow out of some things, they just don’t suit the new ‘us’ but they’re too precious to let go of. Rather than sending your beloved jumper off to continue their life as a jumper with a new owner, why not turn it into a cushion cover? It’s a win-win, you don’t have to get rid of a favourite jumper and you've saved yourself from spending £25 on the cushion cover you've been eyeing up on H&M!
The good thing about upcycling is there are no limits to what you can create, the list and saving possibilities are endless.
6. Learn how to be your own barista
Keep calm and make your own tea (or coffee if that’s your style).
Gone are the days splashing the cash on a takeaway tea or coffee. If you were to add up the amount you spent at starbucks pre-lockdown, I bet it would add up to a small fortune.
Well, it’s time to adopt a new lifestyle where you become your own barista (it’s easier than it sounds I promise). But most importantly, it will save you a hella a lot of money.
7. DIY Time!
Although many of us are thriving from self-isolation, it can get a little boring watching 9 episodes of 'The Crown' in a row. DIY will help to tackle any lock down boredom and is significantly cheaper than buying art & craft kits on amazon! You can even come up with fun ways to get the kids involved, as long as they’ve completed their PE with Joe Wicks and Maths with Carol Vorderman first that is.
You don't need to fork out on supplies and materials, Pinterest is flooded with DIY ideas using items you have floating about the house. From making pom-poms with a fork to mosaic trays with old CD’s to phone holders using loo rolls and pins! You’ll be begging for extra isolation days to get all your crafts completed.
This is also the perfect time to give your walls that extra lick of paint they’ve been begging for since the day you moved in. I mean, you might as well make use of all the free child labour you have on your hands rather than paying a professional.
On a final note, if you have no self control and are going to splash the cash, support your local businesses.