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Dial your emergency savings up to 11

 
 

Hey Heroes!

In an age of impulse online purchases and quick pick‑me‑ups, saving for a rainy day might seem, well, a bit boring.

We’re entering a tempting time of year for spending. Black Friday is on the horizon, with Christmas hot on its heels, and with our movements restricted due to the England lockdown the lure of online-shopping could be strong…

Which is why we thought we’d take a moment to talk about saving this week – from emergency funds to finding opportunities to save!

  NEWS CATCH-UP
  • UK furlough scheme to be extended to March Read more
  • Stock markets rocket on Covid vaccine hopes Read more
  • ‘Real living wage’ rises to £9.50 an hour  Read more

Sam’s Savings

 

Dial your emergency savings up to 11

Hey, Heroes!

I’ll try to keep this as light as possible, but recently I was admitted to A&E following a severe headache.
 
I’m pleased to share that I’m absolutely fine now, though I did have to have a lumbar puncture to determine the presence of any xanthochromia in my cerebrospinal fluid.
 
In layman’s terms, I had a needle stuck into my back to rule out any potential bleeding from the brain that might’ve travelled down my spine.
 
Fortunately there wasn’t, and I was discharged when the results came through – but not before I learned three things:

  1. A lumbar puncture is more commonly known as a spinal tap;
  2. I’ve just taken my Scrabble game up to the next level;
  3. Unforeseen emergencies are exactly that, unforeseen, and we need to be prepared for them.

I was lucky on this occasion, and was able to return to my regular day-to-day life within a few days. But of course there are others who are less fortunate, and sadly there are companies out there who are less understanding if an employee needs to take extended leave…

We in the UK are extremely privileged to have the NHS in times like these, ready and able to look after our health in an emergency. But who looks after our wealth? The answer’s not always so cut and dried…
 
For example, there are more than five million self-employed people in Britain, according to the Office for National Statistics, earning an average of £781 per month. Being unable to work for weeks while recovering from an illness obviously results in a huge hit to their take-home pay.
 
There are often additional costs to recuperation, too, a common one being the cost of prescription medicine, which isn’t always a one-off necessity…
 
That’s why I wanted to stress the importance of an emergency fund today. Putting aside a portion of savings in case of unexpected circumstances not only helps should that situation arise, but also helps provide peace of mind that finances shouldn’t be an additional worry at that time.
 
Obviously, the emergency may not be medical – there could be a traffic incident where one might need to pay the excess fee to the insurer, for instance. If unprepared and without any savings put aside for moments like this, trying to source that money can be extremely difficult.
 
I could go on and on with plenty of other examples, but I did promise to avoid getting too heavy (despite the serious nature of the topic) – so allow me to end on a brighter note, and thank the NHS for all they do day in, day out. For they are truly Heroes!

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Find out what the lockdown 2 restrictions that come into force on Thursday 5 November mean for travellers, including whether flights are cancelled.

   FINANCIAL TIP! 

Under the new lockdown restrictions the UK government recommends that, where possible, everyone works from home again.

Whether you’ve been working from home since March, or are just recently back in the ‘home-working’ saddle, there could be tax relief available to offset the extra cost of WFH.

The scheme allows a flat rate claim of £6 per week for utilities like heating and electricity. That means you could save between £1.20 and £2.40 a week on tax, depending on tax band and eligibility.

The other bit of good news, there’s no need to supply proof! (Evidence only needs to be supplied for claims over £6 per week.)

Find out more about how to claim, and other working-from-home allowance benefits, here…

We asked, you answered…

Poll taken by @MyWalletHeroUK on Twitter from 10:46am 05/11/20 over a period of 24 hours.

It might not seem like the most exciting option of the lot, but we’re pleased to see that taking the opportunity to save some money during Lockdown 2.0 appeals to some of our Heroes. 

During the first UK lockdown the average family saved £178.70 per week, according to ONS data.

This lockdown might only be until 2nd December, but that’s still four weeks without dining out, visiting the pub – and with less travel costs than usual. Using the same stats as above to calculate, that could amount to around £714.80 saved.

That could be extra money in the savings pot in the run-up to Christmas, or the start of an emergency savings fund.

Check out our Savings hub here for account comparisons, articles, guides and more!

Content Disclaimer: We have taken reasonable steps to ensure that any information provided is accurate at the time of publishing. The content provided in this article has not taken into account the circumstances of any specific individual, and does not constitute personal advice or a personal recommendation for any individual; neither should it be relied upon by any individual when making any decisions. If you require any personal advice or personal recommendation, please speak to an appropriate qualified adviser.

 

Thanks for joining us today Heroes, we’ll have more money musings winging their way to your inbox soon!

Written by the MyWalletHero Team.