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Emerging From Lockdown

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Taking care of our finances and wellbeing as we emerge from lockdown

With the UK COVID vaccination programme in full swing and over 30 million people now vaccinated, thoughts are turning to relaxation of rules, going to social events, holidays and seeing friends and family again.  However, for some of us it may not be as easy as just picking up where we left off in March 2020, as it’s not just the world that has changed, so have lots of us.  The various lockdowns may have adjusted our view of the world, some of us may be bereaved and for some, the thought of going outside or spending money may be causing some anxiety.

Here are some tips to help the process of easing towards normality:

Get into or maintain good habits

We’ve all probably adopted new habits over the last year in terms of how we spend our money on a daily basis or our saving habits.  Try and keep any positive habits going and don’t feel you have to go back to the old ways.  For example, taking your own coffee out with you in a flask could save you £700 per year, as well as helping the environment.  Why not check out free days out  in your local area too? Think about structuring your savings for specific activities and if you’ve got into a takeaway food habit consider the health and financial benefits of returning to home cooked meals – Try our budget calculator to see where your money goes. Legal & General - Budget calculator (legalandgeneral.com)

With many of us changing our shopping habits, consider shopping more locally to support local businesses as well as reducing your carbon footprint and receiving great customer service.

Stepping forward with confidence

For some of us the thought of being in busy places or commuting again may be causing us to feel unsettled, it’s about taking things at your own pace and in some situations taking things one day at a time.  Introducing change gradually and managing your own expectations of what the world around us will be like and what you’ll be comfortable doing will help ease any concerns you have – check out more tips from the Mental Health Foundation.

Brighter days are on the horizon

With the signs of better weather ahead we can all start to venture out further and return to hobbies and past-times we used to enjoy as well as continue with new fitness regimes we’ve adopted!  If you’re committing to get fit in the lighter days consider couch to 5k or building in regular walks during your working day to get fit but not break your bank balance in the process.  Did you know that walking is one of the best low impact forms of exercise available and it’s free! https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/walking-for-health/

Our financial futures

The pandemic has probably all got us thinking about our finances in a different way, here are some things to consider;

  • Check on any insurance premiums like life assurance cover that may have lapsed and contact providers to reinstate any cover.
  • Review your retirement savings and consider what you may need to maintain the lifestyle you aspire to when you slow down from work. You may be considering retiring early and accessing your pension pot sooner –  Check out the retirement living standards to help you get focused on your long term saving ambitions and if needs be, restart or increase any employee contributions to your workplace pension scheme by using savings from any new thrifty spending habits https://www.retirementlivingstandards.org.uk/
  • You may have had time to consider broader issues about the state of our planet and if there is anything proactive you can do – check out our hub for responsible investing here as you can make a difference to the world through where you invest your retirement savings, the clothes you buy and your approach to recycling to name but a few.

And finally try and think positive and build self esteem

After the year we’ve all had, it’s hard to sometimes think positively about the future.  However if you turn your mind to positive happy thoughts, consider undertaking a random act of kindness, volunteer in the community and congratulate yourself every now and then for small achievements, you’ll be laying the foundations for moving forward in the best possible way.