It’s fair to say 2020 may not have been the year we had planned, with cancelled holidays and weddings, postponed plans to see loved ones, even a distinct lack of hair appointments. And while our social calendars may have taken a hit, one surprising benefit to the pandemic is the amount of money some people have saved – with some surveys finding families saving an average of £221.50 a week. So, if you were able to save money, here’s what you could do with your newfound rainy-day fund.
Put down a Home Deposit
The stamp duty holiday may be due to end soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grab yourself a bargain. While it may be harder to get a high loan-to-value mortgage, if you have a deposit of 20% or more, you stand a good chance of getting a good mortgage. Because of last year’s uncertainty, the housing market is still in a downturn.
Renovate your Home
If you’re happy with where your home is, but want to upgrade or extend, the cash you’ve saved could give you the home of your dreams. Whether you want to apply a new coat of paint or install a new bathroom, convert a loft space or extend the kitchen, if you set the right budget, reinvesting in your home will not only have a positive impact on your living conditions, but in the long-run will positively impact the value of your home too.
Pay off existing Debts
If you managed to save money during lockdown, before you go out and buy something on your wish-list, pay off existing debts. While not all debt is bad, it’s good to get into the habit of managing your funds and living within your means.
Whether you have enough to completely clear your credit cards or you’re able to pay off a small percentage, it’s better than nothing and you’ll be putting those savings to good use.
Save for uncertain times
2020 taught us that anything is possible and that nothing in life is certain. With over 1.69 million people unemployed in the UK, it highlights the importance for saving for uncertain times. While a global pandemic is unlikely (fingers crossed) to happen again in our lifetime, we may encounter times of uncertainty where having access to savings will come in handy.
To help you save, you can set aside a small percentage of your income every month to go into a savings account like an ISA or even invest in Premium Bonds.