How to budget and avoid excessive spending online during Covid-19

For most Irish students the recent Covid-19 pandemic has involved leaving their social college lifestyle behind and moving back to their family homes. Students who have made this move home are now living without their usual expenses. Food and groceries, social outings and transport to name a few.

Even the basic cost of a coffee which many students would purchase on a daily basis has disappeared. This has resulted in a huge cut in spending for students, however the temptation of indulging in some online shopping can threaten these savings.

Having extra cash and extra time to browse the web can result in unnecessary online purchases and hauls. However, there are still opportunities to budget and save money over this quarantine period.

The first method is to create a new weekly budget. Take into consideration the change in circumstances and adapt your typical budget to fulfil your current weekly needs.  It is important to only budget for expenses you need, as you would in a normal budget. Put some money aside in your weekly budget to go towards a monthly treat. Perhaps this is €30 you have saved at the end of the month that you can do some online shopping with or donate to a chosen charity.

Another method is to utilise sales. If you need to buy something, or if you have successfully saved your target monthly amount and want to spend it on yourself then make sure to utilise sales and discount codes. Online clothing and good stores are currently offering huge sales to attract buyers sitting at home. Rather than feeding into these sales, use them strategically to save as much money as possible.

This period of quarantine should also be used as an opportunity to save for the future. We are all worried about plans and events being cancelled. However, a great way to stay positive and motivate yourself to save is to put money aside for a future event. This could be a holiday, a festival next year or a big night out with your friends when this is all over. This will not only boost optimism and allow a change of perspective but will provide a motivation to put money towards the future.

While this current pandemic has caused an opportunity to save money, it is also important to still spend what you can, when you can, on local Irish businesses. The closing of thousands of businesses caused by the current lockdown will cause extensive damage on the Irish economy and the only way to improve the situation is to keep money flowing through the economy.

So yes, use this period as a time to save money but if you are spending put your money back into the Irish owned businesses that are struggling right now.

Roisin Phelan

Image Credit: Public Domain Pictures