If you’ve been lucky enough to stay healthy during the 2020 lockdown and have been able to remain employed and work from home throughout, you may have noticed a dip in your expenses. While your income may have remained the same, the lockdown restrictions have meant there’s been no opportunity to spend.
Take daily travel, for instance – whether it’s driving or taking public transport, there’s been no spending on fares or fuel. Working from home has meant that expensive lunchtime takeaways and coffees have given way to less costly home alternatives. Leisure activities, such as a trip to the pub or a restaurant or the cinema or gym all came to an abrupt halt, and most of us didn’t have a haircut for months.
To put numbers to it, if your average spend per month on your commute to work was £50, that would be £150 saved over the three months of lockdown. Many of us could have saved between £500 and £1,000 on nights out to pubs and restaurants over the lockdown period, and if quarantine restrictions altered your holiday plans, that probably could have saved up to £3000 if your original destination was somewhere like America. Some have described lockdown as having had a virtual pay rise – others consider it a lockdown windfall.
However you view it, a visit to an independent financial adviser (IFA) for advice on how to invest your increased savings would be a good move. With the technology and back office systems for IFAs they have at their disposal, they can help you choose the type of investment that suits you best.
Make the Changes
You may have been encouraged back to the workplace after restrictions were eased and even taken advantage of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme in August. But there are changes that happened during lockdown that would be a shame to lose. Lockdown encouraged people to find alternative ways to exercise, like running, cycling or doing online gym classes. Your financial adviser can help you plan your lifestyle to maintain some of the positives of lockdown so you can maximise your savings in the future. Supported by back office systems for IFAs, they can offer a first-class service.
Make sure the IFA you choose is regulated by the FSA, and remember that investments can go down as well as up.