The Covid crisis has created six million accidental savers, according to the BBC. The crisis has also lead to many being made redundant or furloughed, losing 20% of their incomes. If you have been fortunate to have remained employed, perhaps, working from home and not been able to go on holiday abroad, you are no doubt sitting on a potential fun fund. A Fund fund is an amount of saving you can spend as you like, guilt-free on anything. From a holiday, a new car, a sky dive or even a night at the theatre.
Below are some saving tips and also fun fund ideas (to get you thinking about what you can do with your spare money) from some of the UK leading Money Bloggers:
Automate your savings
Emma Jackson from www.beemoneysavvy.com recommends automating your savings. She highlights “Set up a monthly direct debit to move an affordable amount of money into a savings account each month or better yet have a budgeting app such as Cleo or Plum do it for you!” Emma’s fun fund idea is “go to a future festival when restrictions are fully lifted and festivals are back on”. In a similar vein, Gemma Roberts from www.theworklifeblend.com has set up a standing order each month for £20, along with her friends. This fun fund will go on a girl’s weekend next year (a few 40th birthdays are on their way).
Save cash in a pot each week
Claire Roach from moneysavingcentral.co.uk saves £100 per week for the whole year, so she saves up for a huge Christmas for her family. Her pot is going towards this Christmas fun fund. Her family spend the whole month of December cramming in every festive trip/activity they possibly can.
Pay yourself on payday, then and there.
Soon to be moving out of London, Dan Ericsson from thefinancialwilderness.com, is putting money aside to focus on a fun fund activity of at least once a week, “from going to the restaurants, to theatres and unusual experiences around town, that will be trickier after their move”
Take part in the 1p savings challenge
The 1p challenge involves saving 1p on the 1st January and then 2p on 2nd January and so on. As the year progresses, the amount of reality adds up. Claire St from https://staposthriftylifehacks.co.uk/. Her fun fund is going towards “lots of day trips and weekends away”.
The 1% savings rule
Instead of 1p, try 1%. Emma Drew from https://makemoneywithoutajob.com suggests to take your saving goal and divide it by 100 to get your 1% at a time. Then save (or side hustle) each 1% and cross them off as you go. This makes the goal of £1,000 just £10, 100 times. An interesting idea! Her fund fund “will be a UK cruise” It will allow her and her partner to visit places in the UK that they would have never made the trip to – for example, Belfast and the Orkney Islands.
Skim your bank account regularly
Naomi Willis from skintdad.co.uk skims her bank account every few days to round her account down. The amounts add up quickly. Currently, her family is using their fun fund on their new home. She mentioned, “We’ve recently bought our first house, and I’m overly excited to do everything!”. Fiona Chapman from financiallyindependent.me also sends any spare money from her current account to her savings account, plus the money she earns from her NatWest Rewards. Her fun fund idea is a new caravan! She bought her first one cash for £2,200 just before lockdown last year, and she and her family love it. Now it’s time for a bigger one!
Decide how much money you can realistically save each month
Victoria Sulley from www.lyliarose.com recommends deciding how much money you can realistically save each month and put it in a savings account on payday. Her fun fund treat is a “hot tub” for her family’s new home. What a treat!
Always shop using cash back sites
Hayley Muncey from https://missmanypennies.com always uses shop using cashback sites – She has had over £1000 in cashback over the years! For her fun fund, she is excited about “a weekend away” with her 3 sisters.
Buy things secondhand to save money
Jane Berry from www.shoestringcottage.com has a saving mantra “live frugally and buy second hand”. This enables you to put more money aside, more easily. Her fun fund will “go on a camper van”. She wants to do it up, then travel with her beloved doggy.
Don’t let any contracts automatically renew
The final tip is from Will (Me) at GreatDealsMadeEasy. Don’t let your contracts renew automatically, when a deal ends, negotiate a better one or look for a cheaper alternative. This ranges from car insurance, TV packages, energy, a mortgage lapsed deal or even a redundant App you don’t use anymore. An hour of work could save you £100s each year”. If you have finished your contract with an energy provider, consider a renewable energy provider, like Octopus Energy. My fun fund will help me move on from my £150, pandemic purchased, 90s Fiat Punto car to a newer car with real electric windows and airbags!
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