United Kingdom

Experts reveal how to control your post-lockdown spending

With many lockdown restrictions now eased in the UK, more people are going out and spending money on socialising or making the most of newly reopened non-essential shops.

But a recent survey, conducted by mobile money app Monese, found more than half of Brits are concerned about splashing the cash as the nation eases back to normality.  

Those aged 25-34 are most worried, with 72 per cent saying they have worries, while regionally 67 per cent of Londoners, 61 per cent of Newcastle dwellers and 56 per cent of Bristolians voiced the most concern about their post-lockdown spending habits.  

It's expected that most will spend heavily at restaurants (45 per cent), closely followed by shops and retail centres (43 per cent). Pubs and bars (37 per cent) were next on the list, with hairdressers or barbers close behind (36 per cent). Just one in six are expecting to splurge on a foreign holiday.  

A recent survey found more than half of Brits are concerned about their post-lockdown spending as restrictions ease. Experts at Monese have shared some easy-to-follow tips on how to control your post-lockdown spending (stock image)

Sarah Holt, head of partnerships at Monese said: 'It's so exciting that we're able to get back out and enjoy 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 monkey management tools and savings Pots.' 

If you have post-lockdown spending anxiety, here are some easy-to-follow tips on how to take charge of your finances. 

BE CLEAR ON YOUR BUDGET

Look at your income and essential outgoings, which includes any money you regularly transfer to savings, to see what you have leftover for luxuries. You need to be clear about what your budget is so that you don't go overboard.

One tip includes setting a strict budget, looking at your income and essential outgoings (including money you regularly send to a savings account) to see what you have left over for luxuries (stock image)

MAKE SPENDING SWAPS 

The next step to controlling your post-lockdown spending is to look at what you've been spending on non-essentials during lockdown, such as takeaways and TV streaming services. 

Experts recommend thinking about luxuries you want most as restrictions are easing. For example, 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 out one for the other? 

THINK ON IT 

If you've spotted something you want to buy, set yourself the little test of walking away from the potential purchase and sleeping on it before you buy it. 

If you wake up and still think you'd really like to buy it, and have checked you can afford it, then that's fine. More often than not you may have changed your mind or decided you're actually happy to wait until you've saved up for it.

KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU'RE SPENDING 

It's good to keep track of your spending consistently if you can, making a note of what you have leftover. You can do this digitally through your banking or mobile money app. 

The best way to really know what money you have left to spend is to regularly check what's in your account, even though it may seem over the top. 

Keep in mind that sometimes transactions can take 48 hours to show up in your account, particularly after a weekend, so it's good to use spending alerts or receipts to keep track of anything that hasn't gone through yet. 

HIDE SOCIAL MEDIA ADS

If you're getting bombarded with adverts on social media which is challenging your spending willpower, you can hide them. 

If you're worried they may tempt you to splash your cash, you can click the three dots in the top right hand corner on Facebook and Instagram to select 'hide this ad'. 

SET UP AUTOMATED ALERTS

Some banks or mobile money apps allow you to set up automated spending alerts that will give you a notification telling you what's gone out of your accounts every time you spend. 

Little reminders like this can really help if you're worried about getting carried away.  

DON'T DIP INTO SAVINGS 

Experts advise not to dip into your savings unless you've specifically set these aside for post-lockdown fun. 

Be strict on yourself - 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 YOURSELF 

Pace your spending and don't try to do everything at once. 

You might want to head to the pub, get a haircut and a manicure and go for dinner all in one week, but is that realistic? 

Think about what budget that will leave you to enjoy before 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. 

Other tips including pacing yourself with events throughout the month rather than doing everything at once and including some free activities to socialise with your friends, swapping out a pub trip for a picnic in the park with your pals (stock image) 

ENJOY FREE ACTIVITIES

Although restaurants and pubs are now open, it doesn't mean that you need to go out to be sociable with your friends. 

If you organise a picnic in your local park, it'll work out much cheaper than dining out and will still feel really special after weeks of being stuck at home.   

ENLIST THE HELP OF FRIENDS OR FAMILY

If you know you're not good at resisting that new jacket or buying a big round at the pub, think about asking your friends and family to help you out. Let them know that you need to stick to a budget and that you're looking for their support.  

Some of your friends may be worried about overspending too, and knowing someone else feels the same and you're in it together can make sticking with a budget so much easier.  

CHECK OUT SECOND HAND SITES AND CHARITY SHOPS

It might be tempting to head to the shops now that they're open again, but if you're short on cash then don't forget about local freecycle groups and Facebook Marketplace. 

These can be particularly good if you're looking for items for your home or garden and you can set up alerts for specific items so you don't miss out when that perfect listing goes live. If you're looking forward to a long-awaited night out then you might be considering buying a new outfit. 

Rather than hitting the shopping centre you could look in your local charity shops. With so many people having clear outs during lockdown, many charity shops have reported that they've got mountains of items for sale. 

You might be surprised what unique, low-cost treasures you find. You're also helping a charity out too!

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