We all want to look forward to the summer, where in the UK the weather (finally) brightens up. With 2020 so far being drastically different than what we are used to, the hope is that come summertime life should start returning to normal in terms of retailers opening their doors again and pubs, bars, and restaurants welcoming people back from 4 July. In the meantime, whilst we patiently wait for this, it’s worth planning ways in which you can enjoy the summer months whilst not overspending during it. Easier said than done? Well, here are some ways we feel you’ll be able to do exactly that.
Assess your Current Expenditure
If you are already in a position where money is tight and you’re left wondering where your pay goes halfway through the month, it’s time to review your spending. By doing so, you’ll be able to identify your spending habits throughout a regular month. You may even be surprised at just how those little purchases add up over the course of the month. FOMO induced debt is a reality for some people, fueled by friends on social media and influencers always seeming to be having endless fun. The effect of this is felt in your pocket, with a reported 24% of UK adults stating their friends can afford to purchase things they can’t. Resisting the urge to spend due to a fear of missing out will massively help reduce expenditure and anxiety around the issue.
Start a Budget
There is no better way to prepare yourself for the summer than by starting a budget for it, putting money away when you can regularly. Ideally, you should start to do this months in advance for maximum effect, but you can still achieve this in the short term. Going hand in hand with assessing your expenditure, if you have identified where you can save money, you’ll then be able to use this for your summer expenses pot. Cutting back on non-essential spend will help you achieve your goals much more easily, and with a reported 40.93% of UK adults not having enough savings to live for a month without income, putting a priority on saving more is needed for many.
Find Cashback Opportunities
Another great way to reduce spending is to look for cashback, where you can earn money back on your purchases. Many of the major banks offer tailored cashback schemes, paying up to 15% when using your debit card in-store and online. Check who you bank with has a cashback scheme in place and start making good use of it, with Santander, Halifax, Lloyds, Nationwide and HSBC all having this in place. As well as your bank account, there are cashback sites such as Quidco and TopCashback that you can use.
If you Must Buy, Go Second-Hand
Yes, it’s nice to purchase something brand-new and sealed, but this means typically paying a higher price. If between now and the summer there are items you are expecting to purchase, such as items for a summer wardrobe, why not see what you can get second-hand first. As well as using sites such as eBay, Gumtree or other online marketplaces, there are many dedicated second-hand goods stores in the UK, in fact, 3,943 of them as of 2018. Charity shops are a great place to find second-hand gems, and in 2019 sales in second-hand stores rose 17.6% in value, owing to increasing popularity for frugal shoppers, with charity shops seeing £732 million in sales in 2018.
Like many people in the last few months, you may have found your spending has reduced significantly with some even able to save more with 16% of people feeling financially better off and having between £200 and £500 more in disposable income. If this sounds like you, then you have already made a good start on your summer fund.