Lockdown is stretching our finances like never before. But there are ways you can save during the coronavirus crisis and free up some extra cash in these uncertain times.
If you’re looking for a cash boost during the Covid-19 pandemic then these tips can help you claw back money on services you can’t use and make savings on the ones you can. You might even find that you can put money away to help you exit lockdown in good financial shape
Use tech to get the best deals
Whether you’re self isolating or working on the frontline, tech is your friend when it comes to getting clever with your cash.
If you find you and your partner are having arguments over the bills then forget auto switching sites. You’ll find they don’t offer a full comparison service and you won’t find offers from the Big 6 energy suppliers. Instead, use a price comparison site to drill down to the best deals on your energy and other bills.
You can shop around for anything from a new broadband deal to cheaper insurance, but you’ll find you get a much better deal when you compare rather than autoswitch.
Offers for key workers
If you’re an NHS worker then businesses are falling over themselves to support you with cheap and free offers on everything from accommodation to free beauty products.
Get a £20 food voucher from Deliveroo or enjoy 50% discounts in high street food chains and retailers like Leon and Hotel Chocolat. All major supermarkets are currently prioritising NHS staff and you can even pick up some great new car deals if your old banger is on its last legs.
Pause your sports
With professional sport still in lockdown, make sure you’re not paying for BT or Sky sports that you can’t watch.
BT are letting customers claim back 2 months subscription to their premium sports service, while Sky is pausing subscriptions. Other providers are following suit so check their websites for details on how you can pause or claim.
Chase your refunds
If you can’t use a product or service because of lockdown, then you’re entitled to a refund. No ifs, ands or buts. The Competition and Markets Authority will deal with your complaints if you don’t get anywhere chasing a refund on your gym membership or restaurant subscription.
You should also talk to all your service providers including broadband, mobile, energy and insurance to find out whether you’re entitled to a refund because of Covid-19.
Make your own products
If you’re struggling financially, there are some other corners you can cut. Why not try creating your own household cleaning products from just a few ingredients like vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.
Make a paste of equal parts to unblock your sinks, or put equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and use as an all-purpose cleaner – great for your windows, laminate flooring and bathroom tiles.
Save your savings
Thanks to the lockdown, the chances are you are making savings on going to the pub, Friday night meals out and your daily commute. Set up a savings space through your online banking and put that money away for the proverbial rainy day.
Don’t forget to chuck all your loose change into a jar and put it away until the lockdown is over and you can celebrate.
Clean up your direct debits
You might be surprised how much money is leaving your account that you don’t know about. It’s worth going through all your direct debits and cancelling any that are no longer current. Old magazine subscriptions and insurance for that mobile phone you no longer have can be the biggest culprits. A quick money detox could even help you clear any credit card debts faster, so look out for 0% deals.
Plan weekly meals
We’re all doing a big shop again just like we used to, so it’s time to make the most of it and plan out your meals for the week.
There are some great budget recipes on the internet and by cutting out impulse buys and junk food, you’ll get healthier while you save. And be prepared to be flexible rather than buying overpriced ingredients.
Get a payment holiday
Depending on who provides your home and car insurance, you should be able to apply for a three months payment holiday. You may even be in line for a refund – Admiral recently refunded customers £25 on their car insurance.
If you have credit cards or a mortgage, you should also be able to apply for a break if you’re struggling, but bear in mind you will have to pay more when the payment holiday period ends.
Claim what you’re entitled to
The government has created an unprecedented safety net to support business and families at this time. From statutory sick pay to special business interruption loans, there’s plenty of financial support around whether you’re an employee or self-employed.
Make sure you claim what you’re entitled to and start by talking to your local council about council tax payments. There’s also help available with school meals and internet access for struggling parents. Financial help is out there – you just have to make a claim.
Compare and see how much you can save on your energy bills