There are plenty of things that we can all feel quite negative about when it comes to lockdown. Although we know staying home is contributing to keeping everyone safe, it is hard after so many months to be without the freedom we usually have. Not being able to spend time with family and friends, eat out, go to the cinema or gym, travel, go shopping or choose what we want to do with our spare time. Most of that now, as well as our working day for some of us, is spent at home.
One positive thing that could come out of lockdown is being able to manage your money better. With nothing to spend money on but food and essentials, now is the perfect time to figure out your finances. And if you are shopping online like it’s your job, then it’s an even better time!
Back to basics. Blank paper and line down the middle. One side Income, the other Expenditure. You can use an app, spreadsheet or notes but nothing works better than good old fashioned paper and pen. List all your income one side, total at the bottom and list all your regular expenses the other side – so that’s your bills, groceries, petrol and so on.
Minus your expenditure from your income and you have the money left to play with. Ordinarily we would be spending money on going out, shopping, travel and so on, so hopefully you have more money left to play with.
We appreciate that during this time you may also have less money than usual. Perhaps you are on furlough or have reduced income for whatever reason. It is still a good time, while life isn’t running at normal speed to take stock of your finances to help you manage your money better.
What comes from doing this exercise is not only being able to see a clear picture of what you have coming in and going out to see how much money you should have left but also to give you the space to think about what you do want to put your money towards when things return to normal.
You may decide to use some of your spare money to save regularly. In this way, you’ll have a pot of money that you can put towards a holiday when we can travel again or something else you want. When you have money saved it gives you options. It isn’t to say that you can’t borrow, but managing your money better is about giving yourself choices.
With your Clockwise account you can set up a standing order to save money regularly each week or month and because it is separate you are less likely to dip into it.
Start today and make a commitment to manage your money better.