The FINANCIAL — With hair salons and barbers set to reopen imminently, new research from Barclays reveals Brits have saved around £4.2 billion* throughout the pandemic by giving themselves DIY hairdos in-between hairdressers’ doors being open – an average of £144 per household.
After swapping a seat in the salon for a chair at the kitchen table, more than 24 million Brits** spent money buying hairdressing equipment so they could give their own and family members’ hair a spruce, Barclays notes.
On average, those who bought specialist tools spent £41 which would seem well worth it as the majority (53 per cent) surprised themselves with how well they were able to do their own hair.
This has led to 47 per cent deciding they will continue to do DIY touch ups in-between visiting a professional with almost a quarter (28 per cent) saying they now feel confident doing small jobs like fringe trims and neatening edges, to tide them over until a bigger professional cut.
However, considering that 44 per cent of people said that they always made mistakes when they took on bigger hair styling tasks, it’s no surprise that almost half (47 per cent) say that a trip to the salon or barbers is one of the first things they’re going to be spending their money on again when they can. 58 per cent hope to get an appointment within the first two weeks of hairdressers re-opening, Barclays notes.
It’s parents in particular who can’t wait to pass the scissors back to a professional. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) feel they did a terrible job when cutting their children’s hair, with nearly half (46 per cent) counting down the days until their child can get it done properly again.
Gillean Dooney, Managing Director at Barclays, said: “As the country starts to open up again, our spending on those social and leisure activities we’ve been missing out on is no doubt set to increase. Haircuts are high on the list for many! So, as we prepare to readjust back to some sense of normality, now is a great time to be proactive with managing our finances so we can get back into the swing of factoring in those expenses within our budgets.”
According to Barclays, with this in mind Gillean Dooney shares some top tips on how to take a financial health check and get your money in shape as lockdown lifts and your usual outgoings start to become part of your regular budgeting once again:
1. Think about what you can cut
As we start to come out of lockdown, it’s worth looking at what expenses you have introduced over the last year that you might not need now life is opening back up. For example, if you’ve been subscribing to delivery meal kits, or enjoying a lot more takeaways, could you cut back on these costs now you might be going to eat in restaurants again? Similarly, could you cancel some of your streaming services, or downgrade your package to a cheaper option now you won’t be spending so much time at home. One way to help you understand your spending habits so you can look for opportunities to make money saving changes is by exploring the ‘spending’ feature on the Barclays app which gives a breakdown of what you’ve spent, where and when by category.
2. Reassess your money goals
The pandemic has forced many of us to reassess our financial situation so before things open up again, now is a good time to get it clear in your mind what you want to be working towards. Whether that is saving for a future holiday or even just preparing for a bumper trip to the hair salon, setting a goal helps you have something to aim for. The Savings Goals feature in the Barclays app is a useful tool where you can set up a specific ‘goal’ and easily keep track of your progress.
3. Get savvy
It’s always a good idea to check how much you’re spending on things such as bills and subscriptions as it may be that you can haggle a better deal or seek an alternative. Why not head to a price comparison site to see if you can save some money on things such as your mobile tariff or heating bill? Collectively, small savings like this can leave you with more money to spend on the social activities you’re going to want to be doing with friends and family once again.
4. Set yourself a challenge
Why not set yourself a savings challenge in the run up to lockdown restrictions fully lifting? This could be putting away a small amount each time it rains to help you build a rainy-day fund, a challenge that could prove fruitful considering the upcoming ‘April showers’. Another option is challenging yourself to give up one subscription you’ve bought during lockdown. What may seem like a small challenge could help you build up a nice pot of money enabling you to feel more prepared for when your spending increases again. Anyone looking to shape up their finances can also try taking part in a Barclays Money Workout. There are six free workouts to choose from and you can track your progress through the website.
5. Don’t put off asking for help
It can be daunting thinking about how we’re likely to be spending more money again when the country starts to open up. If you’re worried about budgeting for this or how to keep on top of your finances, it can be helpful to talk to someone. There are lots of places to turn to for guidance including Barclay’s Money Mentors which is a free service available to anyone looking for help on budgeting, saving and general money management. While they may not be able to improve your hair do, they might be able to help you avoid any hairy situations with your budgeting and get you on track for your goals.