A lot of this is, undoubtedly, thanks to how Covid19 has utterly changed our lifestyles. The way we spent our money before – travel, eating out, shopping, that flat white on the way to work – simply are not in our lives anymore.
It’s made many of us totally reevaluate our spending habits and, with that extra £500 as proof of what we can actually save, many of us will be looking to take these lockdown money lessons into our ‘new normal’ lives.
So, if you’ve also found yourself saving more under lockdown, now is the perfect time to get your finances sorted.
After all, what exactly should we do with our extra £500?
New research from Barclay’s suggests millennials may actually have something to be happy about under lockdown, after all.
Their exclusive data shows that more than a third of millennials have saved over £500 during these restrictions. They also discovered that lockdown has dramatically changed our financial viewpoint; with 83% of millennials saying that lockdown has changed their views on finance: 35% are looking to pay closer attention to their finances and 37% vow to put more money into a savings pot.
Enter Ashley Agwuncha and Eve Obasuyi, co-founders of millennial money advisory service Money Medics. We spoke to them about their expert financial tips for lockdown and beyond…..
GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER
“First things first, get your house in order! Really get to grips with your spending by looking at how you were spending your money before, even just your bank statements from January and February- to see where your money is going- and work out how you can be a bit tighter with it going forward.
Another thing is most millennials live paycheck to paycheck unfortunately. It’s a good idea just to track what you are spending- download apps like Money Dashboard and Yolt – these are apps that will analyse your spending and help you manage it a bit more.”
GET AN EMERGENCY FUND
“I think right now people are realising they can save and how important an emergency fund is. You should have enough for 3-6 months to travel food, travel and rent/mortgage.
You also need to keep it somewhere that will be financially sensible. Because it is an emergency fund, you definitely want it to be liquid and accessible. But you want to put it somewhere where it beats inflation, which is at about 1.5%, so there are quite a few flexible interest accounts where you can stick your money in and out.
If you can get a flexible savings interest account- say at around 1.5-1.7%- as long as it is larger than inflation and you can access it as well.
There is a website called money.co.uk which lists all the different types of savings accounts and you can find which one is right for you. It tells you the highest interest rates too.“
SORT OUT YOUR DEBT
“A big thing to sort out at this time, is getting rid of your consumer debt. Because when everything goes back to normal, we have no clue what interest rates will be like- if they will go up, down or not- so it’s good to tackle these now.
A great way to sort out these debts is an app called Credit Monitor. It lists out all the debt associated with you and your monthly payments. You can consolidate them into one place and deal with them at this time.”
“For your post-lockdown life, have an idea of what you were able to live without in lockdown. Keep that in mind.
When ‘normal life’ resumes; you can use other tactics to cut down your spending. You can cut your commute by looking at a young person’s railcard that you can add on to your oyster card. Or even look into if you can work from home more days a week. Lockdown has given us much more leverage on flexible working!
When you are shopping, go for non-brand names on products. We all know it’s basically the same- just cheaper!
Stick to particular budgets on food and different areas of your life. With clothes shopping, you can download apps like Shop Clever, which allow you to have a wishlist – where you can save a list of items you want to buy and then as soon as it goes on sale it gives you a notification. It stops impulse buying too.
Also, you can set up standing orders to your savings account, which you can set to go out on pay day etc. You can download apps like Chip and Plum which are automatic savers- they take money out of your account based on your transactions and your spending habits.”
“The best thing to do is go back to what your goals were like before this and see how you can make your money work towards them now. Where you put your money will depend on that, like if you are saving for a house, you will want to look at a great savings account or ISA.
It is so important to have goals in everything you’re doing. It’s so hard to stick to anything in particular, like a stricter budget, if you don’t know why you’re sticking to it.”