Why staying indoors due to coronavirus could save you £180 a month

23 March 2020

Consumers will avoid commuting, pub and restaurant costs 


The coronavirus outbreak means many people can no longer do their jobs, while others in essential roles are still going into their workplaces.

However, those with incomes that can stay at home could save £180.81 a month each from cutting back their normal costs of commuting and going out.

Many Britons have followed Government advice to work from home where possible during the outbreak.

Working completely remotely means no commuting costs, which average £66.31 a month per person, according to research from Lloyds Banking Group.

Most pubs, bars and restaurants have also closed on Government orders, meaning consumers cannot spend any cash there unless the venue offers a takeaway service.

These closures mean further possible savings for those choosing to stay at home.

How much could I save?

An adult in a typical household spends £61 a month on restaurants, buying lunches and takeaways, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Those currently not leaving the home can still buy takeaways, but otherwise could save all of that money.

Each adult also spends around £16 a month in pubs and bars, which have now been shut.

The typical home pays £107.60 on holidays a month, meaning the typical adult would save half of that by self-isolating, or £53.80, ONS figures say.

The same statistics reveal each household pays £44 a month on leisure activities outside the home, such as gym memberships and going to the cinema. Assuming those payments are split between two adults, each could save £22 from staying at home due to coronavirus.

These add up to £219.11 a month that could be saved by working remotely.

Ways to donate spare money

Many will want to donate any cash saved from self-isolation, seeing it as a bonus that many are not lucky enough to enjoy.

The National Emergencies Trust is raising cash to donate to local charities that are helping with the coronavirus outbreak.

Another option is to donate to food banks, which are suffering due to increased demand and decreased donations due to panic buying in shops.

The Trussell Trust food bank network will take gifts of money.

What about energy bills and increased food bills?

During isolation Britons will spend more money on energy bills than they would normally.

Comparison website Uswitch said energy bills would rise £16 a month for the average household, or £8 per adult.

Isolation also means the amount individuals will spend on food to prepare at home will go up. Each person currently spends £121.20 a month on this, and an increase of 25% would mean grocery bills go up by an extra £30.30.

But even when energy and increased food bills are taken out, the average person could save £180.81 a month by not going into their workplace.

Those of retirement age who do not commute could still save £114.50 a month from staying indoors.

What happens when coronavirus has been beaten?

Clare Bailey, founder of The Retail Champion, said these savings could continue if working from home becomes the norm once the outbreak has ended.

Bailey says: “There could be a paradigm shift. Do many of us even need to operate this commuter economy if we can prove we work just as productively at home? It could force a change.”

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