Before I start this post, I know that I’m fortunate enough to talk about lockdown positively. Myself and my partner haven’t been financially affected by the crisis and our jobs don’t appear to be at risk.
I know this isn’t everyone’s reality, so please don’t assume that I’m not considerate of other people’s experiences. Because that isn’t the case.
I’ve constantly counted my blessings over the past four months because I’m aware that even though I’ve struggled with staying at home 24/7, especially in a studio flat, I’ve still worked throughout and no one I care about has lost their life or been hugely affected financially.
That being said, lockdown has affected my personal finances, for the better.
Daily budgeting doesn’t work for me
Before lockdown, I swore by my daily budget. I transferred my spending money into a Monzo pot on payday which automatically withdrew a small amount daily.
The problem, however, is that I don’t consistently spend a small amount each day. Some days I spend nothing, others I’ll order some new jumpsuits from ASOS. Therefore, I found myself withdrawing from the pot and changing my scheduled payments.
Instead, I’ve learned to trust myself, because the money I’m referring to doesn’t include my bills, food shopping or any savings. So it’s entirely up to me how I spend it.
If I fall short towards before payday, I’m not going hungry and the mortgage has still been paid, so it usually just means I can’t splurge on an unnecessary purchase or order a takeaway.
Daily saving also doesn’t work for me
On January 1st, I started a new challenge of saving £1.50 a day. The idea was that I could save £500+ over the year by sacrificing a small amount of money each day.
It was going well, and I liked seeing my savings increase slowly. But it became unsustainable and I wondered why I didn’t have much money left at the end of the month.
My old budget meant that anything left over after paying my bills and saving £250-300 was mine to spend. But while my savings pot was growing quickly I was actually cutting myself £45-50 short by saving £1.50 a day.
I still think it’s a good idea for some people who struggle to save, or perhaps have a bigger salary than me.
However, I’ve decided to only save at the beginning of the month and let myself enjoy everything else without feeling guilty.
Commuting was very expensive
I work in London, which is my choice and I knew that it was expensive before I accepted my job. Fortunately, my company has a work from home policy, meaning I already saved at least one train ticket a week.
However, at £17.65 a ticket, I still spent around £300 a month travelling to the office.
I’ve saved £1,012 since lockdown, which has primarily been because I haven’t had to pay to get to work.
But this has reinforced to me how important flexible working is and I don’t think I’m going into the office five days a week for the rest of my career.
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