There is no denying that the coronavirus outbreak has caused massive disruptions in how all of us live and work. It has also caused a slowdown in economies worldwide, making it harder for people to earn and save money, forcing many businesses to close down, and others although operational, found themselves downsizing their workforce.
While many of us are experiencing a drop in our incomes, we can still save money by carefully budgeting and managing our money. Here are some extra steps you can take to help save on costs while you wait for a return to normalcy.
Time to Go Back to The Kitchen
While ordering takeout has its advantages for many of us who aren’t skilled in the kitchen, it can get expensive. A better option is to cook simple and easy to-prepare dishes. Not only does this save money, but you also can manage your diet, resulting in a healthier body. So, grab an apron and check out a few easy to prepare dishes online.
Shopping for food and other necessities need not be expensive. There are numerous affordable options along with simple tips and tricks that will make grocery shopping more affordable. Here’s a few of them:
Buy Frozen Food
Frozen food often gets a bad rap, but don’t let that deter you. Frozen food is just as nutritious as fresh produce, and generally much more affordable.
Choose inexpensive supermarket brands
Name-brand items can get very pricey. Instead of the more expensive brands, look into supermarket brands. These are just as good as the brand name goods and can be purchased at a far cheaper price.
Buy Your Staples in Bulk
Purchasing your food staples in bulk reduces waste, and also allows you to buy the exact amount you need, and usually is a far more affordable option.
Get Rid of Subscriptions and Memberships You Don’t Use
The recent viral outbreak means people on average are spending a great deal more time in the home. With less time spent outdoors, now is the time to reevaluate the things we pay for.
Look into cancelling your gym membership and downgrade your mobile phone plans and maybe even your cable tv package. This should help you save a few dollars on subscription and membership fees.
You need not cancel all of your memberships and subscriptions, but if you pay for several services that offer similar content, then you may want to keep one and cancel the other.
It’s Time to Declutter and Sell Your Stuff
While it’s understandable why people like to hold on to their stuff, it may be time to let go of a few things. Many of these items will end up bound for charity, but keep a lookout for a few things that you can also sell. Use online platforms such as eBay and Etsy to help sell your old, unwanted things.
Review Your Debt Payments
Let’s look at debt payments and loans next. If you have a home mortgage, reaching out to your lender is your best bet. If you have an outstanding loan and you are afraid you may not be able to make the payments, contact your lender and ask if they have options to defer, or lower the loan payments temporarily.
Refinancing your home mortgage can also help generate some savings. The loan interest rates are running low right now. If you refinance your mortgage, you may end up with lower housing costs. Talk to your mortgage lender about this option.
Many credit card companies offer hardship programs. These allow creditors to pay lower payment rates or even a temporary reduction on the interest.
Cut Down on Impulse Spending
It is always a good idea to wait a little before you buy something. Hold off from buying something for a few days and you might find the same item at a lower price. You might even realize you don’t really need it.
Consider buying things used. Used items such as tools and electronics are often more affordable. Make sure you are buying from a reputable seller which will lower the odds of buying a lemon.
Look at your spending habits and you’ll often find you can indeed cut a few nonessential expenses. For example, if you often get coffee at the local cafe, consider cutting down. Saving money for essentials is the goal, after all.
Get Smarter with Your Spending
Saving money doesn’t mean you can’t spend it. It only means spending it wisely. Every little trick helps. Taking advantage of sales, vouchers and discounts are good ways to cut down on the amount you pay for purchases. Cash back apps also let you earn back a percentage of money you spend on purchases. It all comes down to making the right choices.
Keep Your Savings in A Separate Account
Putting your savings in an account separate from your current account keeps you from being tempted to take money from it. Make sure that you only use your savings for emergency spending. Otherwise, hands off.
The Bottom Line
Making ends meet during this time of crisis may be hard, but it’s not impossible. By following your budget plans and keeping the right mindset, you will not only stay financially afloat through the pandemic; but you will also find yourself with some savings as well.