With pay cuts, job losses and businesses shut down for weeks, the financial impact of the coronavirus is hitting people hard. And it could be some time before things improve, as we’re warned of a likely recession round the corner.
So what are the ways we can tighten our belts and save money? Helen Skelton has been on a mission to find out…
Helen speaks to the Newell family, who are struggling with the financial effects of Dad Mike being furloughed. A financial planning expert, a thrifty chef and a super savvy blogger all give the family advice on how to make savings during lockdown and beyond.
Helen also gets some top tips on what car owners could be doing to cut their costs at the minute, with many peoples’ vehicles being underused.
The financial regulator has added car financing, to the temporary coronavirus relief measures. So, if you're struggling to make a payment on the car, just as with any other payment, you’ve got to phone your finance provider up, have a talk to them and you can request a three month extension.
Next she looks into the economic and environmental benefits of making your own cleaning products, from toilet cleaner that costs just a few pence per use to a household spray that will cost just 50p for half a litre.
All purpose cleaner1 spray bottleWhite vinegarWater
Add equal parts of white vinegar to water in your spray bottle and use to clean down surfaces like windows/ mirrors/ laminate/ bathroom tiles etc.
Please note vinegar should not be used to clean:
Marble or granite work surfaces, stone floors/tiles, varnished wood floors or furniture & egg stains - the vinegar can cause the egg to coagulate and make it even harder to clean.
Toilet cleanerBicarbonate of Soda or Baking SodaWhite vinegarEssential oils
Pour a glug of vinegar directly into the toilet, followed by a good shake of soda and a few drops of essential oil. Let it froth for a while before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
Laundry detergentSoap nuts
These are the dried shells from the soapberry nut, which you can buy online. Just add 3-4 nuts to a muslin bag (more for heavier loads) tie the bag tight so they don't fall out in the wash and throw them in with your washing. You can use the same soap nuts 4 or 5 times and then they can be used for compost. Not recommended for heavily soiled washing.
Looking to the future, Helen finds out that with a recession looming we can expect to pay a lot more for some items such as food, holidays and eating out… but that there may be some massive bargains to be had too:
There are shops that obviously can't sell things at the moment. So, for example, Primark doesn't do online shopping. So, it's literally got warehouses and shipping containers full of millions of items of clothing that they can't sell at the moment. There could be the sale of the century, after all of this is over.
At the end of the programme the Newell family are in for a big surprise as Helen reveals to them how much they could potentially save a year if they follow the advice they have been given… more than ten thousand pounds!
'Saving Money: Tips For Lockdown' is on ITV at 7:30pm.