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Your guide to saving during the pandemic

Lockdown has been hard, but it’s also brought with it ample opportunities to save. Read on to discover our 9 top tips for saving during lockdown.

6 min read

The coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in different ways—from our physical and mental health to our careers and financial wellbeing. Yet lockdowns have also brought opportunities for saving, forcing us to adjust our spending behavior and offering us more opportunities to put money aside.

At N26, we believe in empowering everyone to take charge of their finances. So if you’re looking for tips on saving money during lockdown, we’ve compiled 9 helpful ways you stash some cash away—whether it’s for a post-lockdown spurge or a long-term savings goal.

9 money saving tips during lockdown 

1. Begin with a budget 

The easiest way to save is to keep a pulse on your money, and the easiest way to do that is to make a budget. To do this, note down your monthly income, as well as monthly costs, including both necessities and non-necessities. You might find that your income and spending vary from month to month, but try to get a rough average. Then, subtract your spending from your income to see what you have left over. Perhaps there’s enough to start a savings fund, or maybe you’ll discover areas where you could cut back a little. 

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2. Move some money to a high-yield savings account

Putting your money into a checking account is great for easy access, but it’s not ideal for saving. Whether you’re looking to save for the long or short term, putting your money into a savings account where it can collect interest is the best risk-free way to increase your savings. If you just want to put your money away until lockdown is over, consider a flexible savings account where you can access your savings quickly, or simply set up automatic transfers to a designated account for savings.  

3. Get a side gig

With lockdown measures in place, we’ve all got some extra time on our hands. If you’re sitting at home waiting for bars and restaurants to open, why not consider picking up a side gig or some freelance work? Not only will this help you save up for a splurge when lockdown ends, it may push you to try something you’ve always wanted to. Who knows, today’s side gig might become tomorrow’s new job! Learn more about budgeting for a career change here.

4. Do some lockdown DIY

From mending old clothes to giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, lockdown has gifted many of us the time to devote to learning new skills that can spell big savings. Not only does household DIY help you save, it’s pretty empowering when you manage to fix broken appliances or do long-awaited renovations yourself. Who knows—you may discover hidden talents!

5. Get creative in the kitchen

Got some extra time on your hands? Why not try out some new recipes! We all miss going to our local restaurant, but learning to cook your favorite meals at home can be exciting. Devise a meal plan before your trip to the grocery store, so that you know exactly what to buy and avoid impulse spending. Get creative with leftovers, or plan meals around special sales. You could even try growing your own vegetables if you have the means. Guten appetit! 

6. Get cashback

Consider applying for a cashback card. Much like other loyalty incentive programs, cashback programs let you earn a percentage of money back of your total bill. This essentially gets you paid for spending, and who doesn’t love that? Many business accounts offer cashback options, so check with some banks to find one that’s right for you.

7. Shop for used items and special deals 

Shopping in-store is fun, sure, but discovering new-to-you items can be just as invigorating. Try buying used or antique items online, or trading in your old clothes for new ones—it’s not only cheaper, it’s also great for reducing your carbon footprint. If you do need something new, try looking for extra special deals. Some subscriptions or even banks have special perks on offer exclusively for their customers. 

8. Review insurance policies, memberships, and subscriptions

It is easy to let policies renew each year without reviewing the actual costs, and you could be paying for services that you no longer need. Have travel insurance, for example? Maybe it’s time to cancel for the remainder of lockdown, or look for  bank accounts that might offer it for free. While you’re at it, look into your TV and magazine subscriptions: do you use all of them or could you let one or two go? Finally, it might be a good idea to pause or cancel your gym membership while lockdown is in place and take up jogging or other free outdoor sports. 

9. Re-imagine vacations 

We’re all looking forward to our next vacation, but lockdown restrictions and health concerns might not make that island getaway possible right now. Instead, try vacationing close to home, and travel by car instead of plane. If any travel is too risky, make regular family dates to plan adventures for when things get back to normal. Put pictures of these travel destinations on your fridge to keep you on track with savings when you’re tempted to give up, or dedicate a specific sub-account to your future adventures. 

All of these money saving tips during Covid will gradually add up, from the smaller changes to the larger ones. How much you need to save is down to you, so make sure it’s an amount you feel is realistic and achievable. 

Types of coronavirus financial assistance

If you’ve been put on short-time work or made redundant, relying on your savings may not be enough to cover the bills. Here are some other ways to get financial assistance:

  • Government grants—Visit your local government website to see what kinds of aid packages are available for residents. Depending on where you’re based, as students, employees and employers, and homeowners, you may be surprised at what funding is available to help your family or business. 
  • Loan, tax, and debt relief—Some interest fees, repayments, and taxes have been put on hold during the pandemic, such as student loans. Check with your loan provider or tax office to see if you can benefit from a pause on payments or a later filing date. 
  • Charitable organizations—From food banks and donated meals to healthcare and medical supply services, there are options for those in need to get the assistance they deserve in difficult times. Check your local government website to find out more.  

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Your money at N26

Whether you’re looking to save during lockdown or just get effortless banking right from your smartphone, N26 has you covered. Open a premium account to access N26 Spaces, giving you up to 10 sub-accounts where you can stash your quarantine savings. You can also create automatic transfers with Rules to send funds from your main account to N26 Spaces. Track your spending with our Statistics feature to see where you can cut back if needed. Compare accounts to find the one that fits you best.

Can you save money during lockdown?

There are plenty of ways to save money during the pandemic. Start with a budget and look at where you can make small cutbacks. Perhaps this means shopping around for deals, or considering a part-time job. Trying some DIY around the house or growing your own vegetables not only save money but are fun for the whole family.

What are the best ways to save money during lockdown?

Many activities you enjoyed before lockdown may be off limits at the moment, presenting ample opportunities for saving. Calculate the money you would normally be spending on transportation, dinners out, movies, or vacations and put them into a special fund for happier days to come. Try putting your extra cash into a high-yield savings account and use the extra time you have to try out new recipes or hobbies at home.

Do you need to save money during the lockdown?

While many of us feel it’s necessary to save money during lockdown, others may not. It’s important to consider what feels right for you and your family. Perhaps extra savings are possible with very little effort, or maybe cash is tight and saving isn’t on the cards right now. The important thing is that you do what fits your financial situation.

What covid-19 financial relief does the government provide?

Depending on where you live, each government has different COVID-19 financial aid programs for their residents. There are employment relief schemes such as short-time work, as well as pauses on student loans and other debt payments. In addition, housing taxes may have been put on hold, and there are certain business grants for both start-ups and bigger corporations. Check your government websites to see if you qualify.

Does N26 have resources to help save money during lockdown?

With an N26 account, you can access a wide variety of features to help you save during lockdown. All our accounts offer instant push notifications for every transfer, so you always know what’s happening on your account. Premium N26 accounts feature Spaces, allowing you to create up to 10 sub-accounts for your savings goals. Set up Rules to automatically transfer funds at regular intervals, or try Shared Spaces to manage mutual savings with a trusted partner or family member. Compare accounts today to see which one is right for you.

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