ONS: Staff are saving nearly £500 a month by working from home – what to do with this cash

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Employees who were furloughed will have seen their income drop but there are a number of lucky workers who both kept their jobs in their entirety and worked from home with few changes. According to new analysis from protecting.co.uk, these workers on average are nearly £500 better off a month.

This extra money has come from the lack of spending on travel, food and clothing expenses.

As Mark Hall, the founder of protecting.co.uk, explained: “Working from home has the unexpected benefit of saving people a lot of money because they aren’t having to pay travel costs to go anywhere or splash out on expensive coffees and lunches,

“And now that staff have proved to employers that they can work efficiently at home, travelling into an office may seem like nothing more than an expensive commute.”

These findings come from new data from the Office for National Statistics which revealed that collectively the UK has saved £157billion over the three months of lockdown.

This breaks down to the average person saving £495 a month according to protecting.co.uk.

As Mark continued: “It’s no surprise that people are saving more when they’ve been stuck at home, there were no pubs, shops or restaurants open to spend in, and no need to fork out on clothing when we’ve all been lounging around in our comfy gear at home”

Despite these positive findings, it should be remembered that not everyone will benefit from these savings.

Some people may even find the suggestion of these savings farfetched, as additional work from protecting.co.uk revealed.

They asked people online if they had been able to save during the lockdown period, with the results painting a mixed picture:

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  • Sarah, Leeds: “I’ve saved so much money by not going out for lunches with the girls in the office or going to staff drinks on a Friday, that I can afford a holiday when all of this is over. It’s definitely made me realise that I can save money if I cut out some of my habits.”
  • Aaron, St. Albans: “I started a help-to-buy ISA last summer, but now I’m not paying for the train I’ve managed to put enough money together for a house deposit – I was definitely not expecting to leave lockdown this well off, it’s like a pay rise without getting a pay rise!”
  • Shamika, Bristol: “There’s no such thing as saving money when you’ve got kids to entertain, especially since they haven’t been able to go to school. I would never usually spend this much on books, games and food to keep them busy.”
  • David, Fleet: “Technically I’m £500 up a month from saving on rail and food expenses, but I’ve probably spent more than that on boredom-buys online. Who knew I’d need a new pizza oven?”
  • Charlie, Fife: “Saving money? Are you kidding? I’ve spent more on takeaways in the last few months than I would normally spend on my rail card – not being able to see my friends and family has felt really isolating.”

For those who do find themselves with more money at the moment it may be difficult to work out what to do with the new funds.

There will unlikely be another time like this where people will not have to spend money on travel costs and the like and as such, it is important not to squander the opportunity they’ve been presented with, or at least, not splurge all of it away.

Given the unique circumstances, Mark concluded by suggesting a few ideas that savers could explore:

  • “Save it – think about things you want to save up for in the future, be it a house or a holiday, and work towards it. Besides, it’s also a good idea to make sure you have a few months’ worth of money stored away just in case.
  • Invest it – Investing money might seem like something your grandparents did back in the day, but if you play your cards right you might make a nice return on your cash that can kick start a saving pot.
  • Splash it – If you’ve got nothing you want to save for and you’ve managed to squirrel plenty of money way, why not treat yourself after a miserable few months and enjoy the money you’ve been piling up.
  • Share it – There are millions of people suffering financial hardship during lockdown. Give to your local foodbank or a charity of your choice. It’s nice to be nice.
  • Pay off your debts – Possibly the most sensible idea on the list, but think about it, if you’re not paying towards debts every month then you’re going to be much better off in the long run!”

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