A woman who managed to save £10,000 during the first two national lockdowns has revealed her money saving secrets.
In March 2020, when the first lockdown hit England, Amy De-Keyzer, 32, from Horsham, West Sussex, set herself the challenge of saving more money.
By the time the first set of coronavirus restrictions were eased the communications professional had managed to put away £5,000.
But De-Keyzer wanted to challenge herself to save even more and has managed to rake in ten thousand pounds worth of savings by cutting back on her spending during the pandemic.
Now she’s hoping to increase her saving stash further during the third national lockdown, as she and her husband are saving up to complete a big renovation project on a new house.
“Another lockdown is a blow, but I’m trying to see the positive side and look at it as another opportunity to save,” she says.
“I’m hoping to save around one thousand pounds in the next six weeks.”
Some of the super saver’s tricks for putting away more money include cutting back on her spending by freezing her cinema membership card while venues were closed; switching energy providers; using supermarket coupons and cutting her weekly spend on fuel as she began working from home.
De-Keyzer also began upcycling old furniture around the house and selling it on Facebook marketplace, which brought in extra cash.
“Lockdown has meant spending less on stuff that you enjoy; it’s just a product of the situation we find ourselves in,” she says.
“So, I have saved a lot of money in fuel for my car, going out for dinner, my cinema membership card and just all the stuff that we haven’t been able to do.”
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In terms of tricks and tips, De-Keyzer didn’t do anything too out-there. She simply looked at her outgoings, worked out where she could cut back, and made saving a priority.
“I’ve been moving money into my savings account every month because it seemed a sensible thing to do,” she explains.
“At the beginning of the month when I get paid, I will always move a set amount into my savings and then anything extra I have left at the end of the month, I tend to move over as well.
“I see my savings account as completely separate from my current account and hate taking money out of there; it’s good to have a target in mind.”
The couple also saved money by repurposing unloved items and doing jobs themselves instead of paying a professional.
“We did a garden project over the summer and because we had a lot of time on our hands, we repurposed things and did a lot of the stuff ourselves rather than paying someone else to do it,” she says.
The savvy saver is now an advocate for shopping around as a way to save extra money.
“Normally, we can’t be bothered to shop around energy providers because it seems like quite a boring task but we managed to make a huge saving by doing so,” she explains.
And she recommends others do the same.
“Look at your bills and see if you could save – we checked our car insurance, energy providers, WIFI and it doesn’t take long at all, but most people put it off.”
Working from home has helped De-Keyzer cut back on unnecessary spending during the week.
“When you’re in the office, you’ll quickly pop to the shop for snacks or go and get a coffee,” she says.
“You’ll go for drinks after work or go out with colleagues for lunch and it’s cutting back on things like that that have really helped.”
She now wants to encourage other people to try to use lockdown as an opportunity to bank away some cash.
“I’ve always been quite good at saving but this whole situation has really helped me save more.”
Additional reporting Caters.