First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed further easing of lockdown measures will begin on Monday, April 26, including the opening of all non-essential shops and the lifting of travel restrictions between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

This relaxation of rules means that for many, the chance to go further afield and meet up with family and friends, albeit safely following strict social distancing guidelines, will become a reality after months of staying local in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

However, new research from mobile money app, Monese, shows that more than half of adults across the country (51%) are concerned about how much more money they will spend once they are free to leave their local area.

The study found that millennials, aged 25-34, are the most money-worried age group (72%) when it comes to being able to control spending.

The mobile app also discovered that many people expect to splash the most cash at restaurants (45%), closely followed by shops and retail centres (43%), pubs and bars (37%) and at hairdressers or barbers (36%).

Five ways to control your spending once restrictions ease

Monese have shared five tips to help anyone concerned about going on a post-lockdown sales splurge control their finances.

  • Start by looking at your income and your essential outgoings, including any money you regularly transfer to savings, so that you can see what you have left over for little luxuries - be clear about what your budget is and stick to it.

  • Next, look at what you’ve been spending on non-essentials, such as takeaways and TV streaming services during lockdown. Think about what luxuries you want most as restrictions are easing, if you want to go to the pub with friends, do you have enough cash to do this and pay for your streaming services, or do you need to swap one for the other?

  • If you can, keep track of your spending consistently, and make a note of what you have left over. You can do this on paper, in the notes app on your mobile phone or tablet or digitally through your banking or mobile money app.

  • Try not to dip into savings unless you have specifically set these aside for post-lockdown fun. It’s all too tempting to draw on money you put away for a ‘rainy day’, but you may regret it later when faced with unexpected costs.

  • Pace your spending and don’t try to do everything at once. You might want to head to the pub, get a haircut and go for dinner all in the first couple of weeks but is that realistic? What budget will that leave you to enjoy until you get paid again? Spreading things out gives you something to look forward to and means you’re less likely to go over your budget.

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Sarah Holt, Head of Partnerships at Monese added: “It’s so exciting that we’re able to get back out and enjoy outdoor meals and of course that long-awaited pint in a beer garden. Naturally, with so many more options available to us, it could be easy to lose track of what is being spent. Our survey revealed that many people are nervous about this.

“Setting yourself a clear budget, tracking spending, and resisting the temptation to dip into savings for non-essential purchases will all be important.

“For anyone who is worried they’re spending is getting out of hand, they should speak to their banking or money app provider and ask about the features that can help, such as budgeting and money management tools and savings pots.”

Monese surveyed 2,000 adults across the UK in April 2021. You can find out more about keeping your spending under control here.

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