The financial benefits of staying at home

The financial benefits of staying at home

While the coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly affected the way we go about our lives – and kiboshed our daily Starbucks and lunchtime Pret-a-Manger – you can use this time to improve your financial situation. While now is not the time to start cashing in your shares, as stock markets continue to fluctuate, there are some things you can do to future-proof your finances.

Increase your savings

If there’s one thing that the pandemic has demonstrated it’s that rainy day savings don’t go very far, especially if you’re among the millions who have been furloughed. You should aim to put away three to six months’ worth of expenses into a savings account.

Now is the time to top up those savings by calculating how much you normally spend on your coffee habit, meals out and day trips – and put that money into your savings. You won’t miss it, because it’s what you would normally spend in a month.

Put your pension in one pot

If you’ve worked for a number of different firms, chances are you’ve got pensions with a variety of pension providers. Use this time in lockdown to track down all your pension pots and put them in one pot or start to think about investing.

Sell your stuff

Have a clear-out of things you no longer need and clothes you no longer wear (or don’t fit) and sell them on sites like Ebay and Depop. Not only will you feel better for decluttering your home, but you might be surprised at how much you can make.

But remember to limit the number of trips to the Post Office you make.

Analyse your outgoings

Now we’re not going out as much, you’ve got no excuse not to look over your bank statements. Use highlighters for your different spending habits from essentials like bills and weekly grocery shopping, to non-essential items like that dress from Topshop. Tally all the amounts up and see where you could be saving.

Plan your holiday

While a holiday may seem like a faraway dream, why not start planning your perfect trip? If you’ve got a bit of extra time on your hands, you can plan your next holiday – and aim to make it a memorable one. It’s fair to say the travel industry will be desperate for business, and as such there are bargains to be had on future trips.

Remember to use your credit card so your purchases are protected should the worst happen.

Give back

Pre-lockdown it was easy to get swept up in having the latest gadget, the must-have clothes from your favourite influencer, the fastest, shiniest car, and be seen at the hottest restaurant in town – but post-lockdown, we’ve realised that ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter. We might have a wardrobe of beautiful clothes, but with nowhere to go and no one to see them – they’re useless.

Instead, see what you can give back to charity. If you can afford that after-work gin and tonic, then can you afford to give $5 to a worthy cause?

If we’ve learnt one thing over the last few months, it’s that people are important, and lives are short. 

09 Jun 2020
Singapore Expats