I always try to look for the bright side in any situation and I’m sure that the current stay-at-home situation can be a good thing for us all. It was while keeping track of my monthly budget that I noticed a pleasing change – I’ve already saved money since being stuck at home! Hopefully you’ll notice a positive difference to your finances too – and here’s why…
If we’re not travelling to work and only making absolutely essential journeys, it’ll definitely cut the costs of your travel budget. If you previously commuted by public transport, you’re already saving money on the cost of your train ticket or bus pass. If you usually drive to work, just think of all the petrol you’re not having to pay for.
Even though I mostly work in my home office anyway, I’ve noticed a saving on my travel costs simply because I’m not going anywhere in my car. Where I would have usually allocated £200 in my budget for fuel, I am not using penny now, so that’s extra cash that can be saved in my emergency fund instead.
When you were out and about in the past, did you ever make some purchases that weren’t planned? If you would have previously commuted to work, popped out on your lunch break or may have even just gone into the local town to post a letter, you might have bought something while you were out.
Maybe it was a cup of coffee when you caught the train. Perhaps it was an on-the-go lunch. Did you catch up with the day’s news by buying a paper? Even just a snack bar (or something vegan from Greggs!) on the way home might have made the list of impulse purchases you made throughout the day. Well, now that you’re not going out, these tempting treats are no longer available – and that could add up to a saving of £10 per day!
When you’re at work every day and the weekend rolls around, how often did you get yourself a little reward for all your efforts during the week? Did you treat yourself to a takeaway and a bottle of wine? Maybe you went shopping on a Saturday and bought that jumper or handbag you’d been eyeing up?
All of these rewards for the work you did all week soon add up and can take a lot of money out of your income. So, if you would’ve usually got tickets for a Friday evening comedy show, gone out to an attraction on Saturday and enjoyed a carvery lunch on Sunday, just add up how much this would have cost and pop that in your savings account for later.
To be honest, one of the not-so-fun things about the current situation is that you just can’t get some of the items you want. If you’ve popped online to order something and realised that it’s already sold out, you’ll know what I mean. Likewise, just the fact that we can’t go to the high street shops to browse and buy means no more new stuff for the time being. For example, I wanted to get a compact water butt kit for my garden this month (I know, rock ‘n’ roll) but when I went to order the one I’d had on my ‘wish list’ for a while, it was no longer in stock.
So really, if you can’t get something, that means you can’t spend your money. While it’s frustrating and upsetting if it’s something you really need right now, if it’s not crucial perhaps it’s a good thing that you can’t get hold of it because that’s saving you money. I feel a bit like I’m scraping the barrel with this one (although not a water butt barrel in my case) but that extra cash in your account IS a bright side – honest. And you can put aside the money you would have spent so that, if you still want it in a few months time when it’s possible to get it again, it’ll be a well-considered purchase and you’ll already have the money saved for it.
I hope these ideas have helped you to see the financial bright side of staying at home and working remotely. And perhaps you can carry on some of these money-saving ideas when things get back to normal like travelling less, taking a packed lunch and flask of coffee, and making considered purchases. Let me know if you have managed to making a savings by staying home in the comments below, I’d love to hear about your small wins! 🙂