Hi all, Isabelle from Money Dashboard here.
One issue you might be encountering right now is the opposing desires to save money and to support your local businesses. Many of us are working with tighter budgets, furlough salaries, and increased grocery bills. Yet we also know many small business owners in our community whose business we use and owner’s are our friends and family. Is there a way to maintain your budget as well as support these local businesses?
While not everyone will have the means to, one step I have taken is allocating money previously spent on going out and travel towards buying bulk services. For example, I have paid for one month’s worth of dog walks from my local dog walker, while not planning to use her services much, if at all. My partner has paid for a year’s worth of haircuts from his barber. These are large expenses. Doesn’t this run counter to saving money?
Although these can be large upfront costs, paying for goods and services right now can actually help you budget for the rest of the year. When the lockdown is lifted, you can spread out these pre-paid services over the next year. You could cash in when you are facing a particularly tight month. And it also helps you to limit the goods and services you buy by sticking to the amount you have prepaid for.
Moreover, your custom will help these businesses reopen when the crisis has passed. I know I will certainly need my dog walker when I get to return to the Money Dashboard office. Sainsbury’s will whether this crisis, but will your local personal trainer still be around?
If you would like more tips on how to help local businesses, here is an article from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizfrazierpeck/2020/03/22/15-ways-to-support-local-business-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown/
Call your local small businesses and check if they will allow you to prepay for goods and services, and use this opportunity to control your expenditure on those expenses for the year to come.