Build your financial safety net

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted our personal finances and the need to becoming financially resilient is more important than ever.

The Money and Pensions Service recommends we build a financial buffer of at least three months essential outgoings to protect us from financial shocks.

If that sounds like a huge goal, the important thing is to make a start and save what you can.

Putting aside a regular amount of money is the most effective way to create a savings habit and build your financial safety net, and it doesn’t need to be a huge amount, after all, saving just £1 a day adds up to £352 over a year.

Here are tips to get your finances on track:

  • Review your regular outgoings and categorise essential spending, before identifying unnecessary expenditure to eliminate.
  • When it comes to the essentials like broadband and utilities, you could be getting a better deal with another provider. Compare your broadband, mobile phone provider and utilities online. Loyal customers are often the last in line for the best deals and you could be getting a better package on a cheaper tariff from a rival operator.
  • With the non-essentials, go through your bank statements and cancel direct debit subscriptions, memberships and other regular payments for services you no longer need
  • Lockdown has forced us to change our spending habits in a number of ways. Take this time to think about whether that spending was worthwhile and put the equivalent amount into a savings account. As the money builds up it can be a real incentive to reset your spending habits for good.
  • Make a positive change to your food shopping habits by making a list and sticking to it, to help you resist overspending and buying unwanted items. You can compare supermarket prices online and shop around for the best deal.
  • Save time and money by bulk cooking and freezing meals for another day. This can also help you cut down on essential shopping trips during lockdown.

By making a few simple changes you can easily increase your savings and reduce debts. Visit your nearest credit union to see the range of services they can offer you to help secure a stronger financial future.

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