HomeFrugalHow you can use COVID-19 to supercharge your finances
How you can use COVID-19 to supercharge your finances
13th November 2020
So, I wasn’t going to write anything about COVID-19, since everybody else has been talking about it non-stop for the past 7 months. But, it seems to be here to stay, for a while longer- I thought a post on how you can make it work for you & how to supercharge your finances, which might be a nice break from actual virus news etc.
Table of Contents
Do you, like millions of others, have your car on PCP? It is now siting on your drive- barely used as lots of us now work from home? If so, now might be the chance to change your habits! I have written previously about how having a car increases your FIRE age by up to 5 years. Look for other options- whilst public transport doesn’t sound very appealing at the moment, online shopping, walking/cycling & even car sharing might make much more financial sense.
Even if you don’t decide on getting rid of your car(s), it’s definitely worth a phone call to your insurance provider. They will likely offer to reduce your insurance cost (if they haven’t already), or you can advise them your mileage will be much reduced (assuming you aren’t driving as much)
Before Covid, how much of your budget went on eating out? If you don’t know, you most definitely need a budget, and if you do know- what was it? £50? £500? How much has this dropped due to the current situation? I’m guessing- until you put takeaways into the same category, that this dropped massively. Even when we could eat out for a period in August- it was mostly half price.
Do a review- if you used to spend £200 a month on eating out, did/do you miss it? Do you miss it to the level of £200 a month? Can you replace it with spending a bit more time/money on cooking for yourself?
Unless you have been pretty lucky recently- the amount of travel, especially foreign, has been seriously constrained by the various lockdown & isolation rules that have applied over the past 7 months or so. November sees another month for England that international travel (apart from work) becomes impossible again. The levels of flights operated by the various airlines is barely 20% of normal levels, people ust aren’t travelling. This has likely been very kind to your wallet- but have you missed it?
If you have travel insurance- why the hell haven’t you cancelled it? No, seriously, it might be worth a call to cancel if you haven’t already (assuming you haven’t used it), if you aren’t going to be going anywhere.
If you are working from home, then you will probably already have noticed that our utility bills are going up- and winter has barely started! It’s definitely worth checking that you are on the best deal for all of your utilities, especially gas/elec- since your usage is likely to skyrocket if you are now home most of the time. You might also consider upgrading your internet speed/service, as this is likely very important this continues to work for all your working from home needs etc.
Just a quick word to say that I highly recommend Octopus Energy here, I’ve been a customer for 4 years now. They really are shaking up the market, have excellent customer service, and doing really interesting things for solar/tesla/electric car customers etc. This is my referral link that gives you £50 off (and also, gives me £50 off too)
Most of us have now spend many many more hours at home than we have ever before. Lots of people are using this time to think about (and already doing) changes to their home. From spending small amounts on redecorating to entire extensions. Others are revaluating where they live- do they really need to live so close to work when they can work from home- and if that’s the case, why not do that from the countryside?
One of the biggest household costs in the UK is housing- a massive hack would be to get a London/city wage, but live far afield. Reducing the largest cost to you is going to supercharge your finances more than any other change of lifestyle.
What are you doing with all the extra time that we seem to have now? You could use it for relaxing, learning something new, studying for an exam, going through your finances, taking on freelance/gig work, or finding a new job. Whatever you decide to do- even if that’s just relaxing, make a plan and follow it through- as (hopefully) at some point we will be the other side of this.
Supercharge your finances
Hopefully that’s given you some ideas of how you can use something that’s been negative, to supercharge your finances. Just remember that humans as a species are very adaptable, and we will get through this- and a “new normal” will exist in the future.
Anything that you have done, or could suggest to others?