…turn being stuck at home into a holiday (eventually!)
I don’t know about the rest of you but I am seriously wondering what the heck I spent my money on before we were all confined to the house! Being stuck inside for the last few months has certainly had an effect on my bank balance. I guess the fact I’m not spending a fortune on petrol, buying lunches out daily, eating ready meals because I’m not getting home until late from work and haven’t been away since February has all had an effect as I’ve definitely noticed a little bit more cash left in my bank at the end of the month.
Now I know this won’t apply to everyone, with job losses and losing money from being furloughed and I’m sending love to everyone that this applies to. I know how tough it is and I’m about to be in the same position as my work contract has just finished and I’ve decided to defer my next contract for a couple of months to make things easier at home (working full time while trying to educate a 7 year old as a single parent was unsurprisingly rather tough!).
But this lockdown is a great opportunity for a lot of people to take a look at their finances and see if and where there could be some wriggle room to start saving for a holiday.
If like me you’ve had a sudden realisiation you must be spending way more money on random stuff than you thought, or if it’s just not having to put petrol in every other day, and you’ve been left with a bit of money over at the end of the month, (and you don’t need it to pay off debts etc) pop it away into a savings account or other bank account now. I personally use Monzo as my travel money account. Whether this is £5, £50 or £500 it’s the start of saving for an adventure.
TOP TIP: Unless you really know you can live without it, pop it into an account you can retrieve it from in case you need it. You won’t get the same amount of interest as you would in a locked in savings account but if things change in this weird time we’re living in it’s better to be able to access it. As gutting as it is, even I admit paying for an MOT is more important than a holiday.
Another thing many of us have more of during Covid times (apart from you AMAZING key workers) is time. So while we’re all stuck in the house why not take the opportunity to check out your direct debits – do you really need all 3 of those beauty subscribtions? Take some time to look at your utility bills or Tv/internet providers and go hunting for a better deal. Or just pay better attention to what is going out and what you can cut back on – I mean I love a Pizza Hut delivery but if giving up weekly take aways means I can lie on a beach somewhere hot I know personally what is the priority for me. Not to mention how much my buying hot drinks out on a daily basis was costing me!
If you can make some of these savings and don’t need the extra money in your day to day budget then work out the difference of what you’re saving and set up a direct debit to go straight into a holiday account.
I’m not saying you should give up everything that makes you happy or little treats for your family but if getting to travel/have a holiday is something you really want to do, then it may be worth making a few sacrifices and you could be surprised at how quickly it all adds up.
Just think: If changing your utilities/tv/internet providers saves you £25 a month, giving up a monthly take-away gives you another £20, cancelling a subscription box saves you £15 and you put £20 a month into savings, in just under a year you will have just shy of £1,000 in your holiday savings account, a healthy amount for sure. Especially when largest part of it isn’t coming out of your budget.
TOP TIP: Don’t forget to use TOPCASHBACK for anything you buy during lockdown, or if you change utility suppliers. Cashback particularly for these big ticket items can really add up, last time I renewed my phone contract I got £80, just for doing something I was going to do anyway!
Check out all my top tips and advice on how I budget and save as a single parent for holidays (all year round, not just in times of pandemics!) HERE.
Please note that Topcashback is an affiliate link that could earn me a small bonus if you sign up, but it doesn’t cost you anything and I genuinely do use it and highly recommend it, bonus or not!