There’s no accounting for all the ways the coronavirus has changed our lives. If you’re lucky enough to be working from home, sometimes it can feel like the lockdown has only put our daily routines on hold for a while. But the outbreak has impacted lots of people’s income.
To help, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the government’s COVID-19 furlough scheme has been extended until at least the end of October. But as the scheme only covers 80% of normal pay (up to £2,500 per month), some people could find getting through the month tough financially.
According to a LinkedIn poll*, almost two thirds of the self-employed, 45% of part-time workers and 23% of full-time employees have all experienced decreases in income. If your salary’s been reduced or you’re on furlough, at times payday can feel further away than ever. Knowing how to stretch your funds across the whole month could seem tough. So here are a few tips to make 80% of your salary last 100% of the month.
Work out what you’ve got to work with
Lockdown aside, budgeting is a great idea. If you weren’t budgeting before, now might just be the time to begin.
To budget effectively and make your money go further, it’s good to have an oversight of your income. To get going, compare your post-lockdown paycheck against your pre-COVID income. This will highlight the difference in your pay and once you’ve figured this out, you’ll be able to budget more efficiently.
Even if your salary hasn’t changed, your outgoings may have. There are hidden costs with working from home, like increased electricity and gas bills, after all.
Split up your outgoings
Once you know what your income is, tot up all your outgoings. While you should be spending less on transport, household bills could be costing more than they used to. Try to use the most up-to-date figures in your banking (or money management) app to get an accurate overview of your expenses.
Think about splitting your outgoings into two piles: Essentials and Nice to haves.
Your Essentials are everything you need to get through the month. Add things like your mobile phone bill, your mortgage (or rent) payments and groceries shopping to this pot.
Nice to haves
Your Nice to have pile should include all those little extras you pay for. We’re talking about money you’d allocate to ASOS, spend on takeaways or put toward services like Netflix.
Now, add your Essential spending and your Nice to have costs up. When you take that away from your post-lockdown income, you’ll see how things are shaping up.
Don’t forget that you can set up a pay day in Yolt to get personalised insights based on your spending and saving habits from one payday to the next.
If you’re left with a positive number, you’re all set, and could even think about stowing something away! If you’re in the red, it’s time to balance things up.
Balance the books
Start with your Nice to haves: Is there anything there you could lose? Like your gym membership, for example. That can go during lockdown! Are you doubling down on tinned tomatoes in your food shopping when your cupboards are already stocked? There are lots of little ways you could cut back that could lead to a big difference in your income.
You can even see how much you’re spending on individual categories through Yolt. This’ll give you a quick insight into where you’re spending the most and give you an idea of where you may want to dial back a little.
You could use the app’s Bills and subscription tracker to keep an eye on your outgoings, and make sure there aren't any services you’d forgotten about slipping through the net.
Try not to overdo it, though. Cancelling all your entertainment subscriptions may not be the best idea, as you still need something to do in the evenings.
If cutting back isn’t an option, you could look at ways of boosting your income to get in the black.
- Try to take advantage of cashback offers from your favourite stores
- Consider selling some old books, films, clothes or games online
- Got a side-gig? Monetize it! Use social networks to drum up business and earn yourself a few extra quid
If you’re looking to cut back your online spending, to make your food shop go further or even give your saving a boost, we have you covered. Got any money-saving ideas of your own? We’d love to hear them. Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.