It’s been a long couple of months, but it seems like our time in this third lockdown will be coming to an end in the near future. In England, non-essential shops, hairdressers, beauty salons and gyms, among other things, are slated to open on 12th April, which is great news for those of us with roots down to our elbows and a need to pound the treadmill.
But there’s a growing concern, especially among those of us who have managed to save or improve our spending habits during lockdown, about what the easing of lockdown will mean for our bank balances and relationship with money. It’s natural to feel protective of progress made during lockdown, especially when saving money might have been one of the only silver linings to a really difficult time, but anxiety over the temptation to splurge is not going to help your financial wellbeing in the long run. Here are some ways that you can enjoy the easing of lockdown while maintaining good saving habits and a positive money mindset:
Plan in a little extra spending
Lockdown has been hard for everyone, particularly working parents, students and people living alone or with flatmates. Giving yourself permission to spend a little more over the next couple of months on things that you’ve missed is absolutely fine – in fact, it could be classed as an act of self-care. Take a look at your budget, or how you’ve been spending and saving in lockdown, and plan in some activities that you’ve been looking forward to doing. Create a savings pot specifically for this, and make sure that money is ring-fenced for guilt-free enjoyment.
Automate your savings
If you’ve been enjoying the feeling of saving during lockdown, make sure it’s something you can keep up without much effort by automating it. Take a look at what you’d like to save each month, and set up a standing order to transfer that amount to a savings account the day after you get paid. This way, the money is out of sight and out of mind, leaving you with a better idea of what you can afford to spend.