A recent study by EY suggested that the Covid restrictions in 2020 led to a reduction in Irish household spending in the following areas;
While some families have had to face a reduction in take home pay, our spending has also reduced significantly and for many people they are getting to the end of the month with cash still in their bank accounts!
Once in a Lifetime Opportunity!
At some point in the (hopefully near!) future, the restrictions will lift. Restaurants will be open, weekends away will be back and trips to the cinema or a match will be a regular event. This means your spending will go back up and the ‘squeeze’ will come back on your monthly cashflow.
My advice to you is to seize this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity by starting some new habits now while there has been a reduction in household spending and the temptations to spend are curtailed.
If you start now, you are less likely to break the habit when we go back to the ‘old world’.
Smart Financial Habits
If you are serious about your financial wellbeing, these are the good habits you need to have:
Have a monthly outgoing that will provide financial security to you and your loved ones in the event of your death or illness.
Lodge money into a deposit account (by standing order/direct debit) each month. This way you will have at least 6 months net income available for financial emergencies.
Put money away each month into an investment account for 5 years to cover the future cost of your kids 2nd or 3rd level education, the Big Family Holiday or the Roundy Birthday Treat.
If you have a pension talk to your employer about increasing your contribution. If you don’t have a pension talk to a specialist about how to get started.
This is a simple yet effective way to reduce debt in a structured way ensuring savings in the longer term.
Charities have felt the impact of social distancing with less opportunities to engage donators. This is an easy way to give something back. And it can be done in a very tax efficient way too.
The order of priority of these good habits will be different for everyone. Talk to an independent, qualified Financial Adviser like Colman Financial Planning, about what habits are most important to you and your circumstances.