We’ve had many setbacks in the past, but nothing like the situation brought on by COVID-19. People are out of jobs and having to work and study from home. Entire industries and companies deemed non-essential have been shut down for months.
Millions of people are left wondering when things will return to normal. Besides altering our daily routine, our finances have been impacted as well. As businesses record huge losses, unemployment climbs, and the stock market continues to head downwards, we need to employ smarter ways to manage the money we still have.
You may not be making any money or as much money as you used to at the moment, but what you can do is save. We’ve outlined five ways to save up money that anyone can use, starting today.
No one can argue the importance of having insurance and a cell phone plan. The question though, is whether you’re paying for a package beyond your needs. The lockdown has brought commuting down to the barest minimum. Most people—except maybe frontline workers—are no longer having to drive to work, drop their kids off at school, go shopping, travel out of state, etc.
In general, people are driving much less, so it makes sense to call up or email your insurance provider about this. You can either renegotiate your car insurance policy (get a discount or subscribe to a lower insurance package) or switch to another provider that can offer a more cost-effective solution.
This scenario applies to all of your coverages—home, life, health, etc. Shop around for discounts or cheaper alternatives. You can use any free online insurance comparison tool to facilitate your research.
If you’re currently not working or going out all the time, you may find that you do not need as big a data plan as before. Check out cheaper alternatives to your data plan with your provider. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, consider data deals from other providers too.
Restaurants, fast-food outfits, and bars are not open now; most of them are currently operating exclusively on a delivery model. This means that if you’re the kind of person that loves to eat out, you’re probably spending a ton of money ordering meals now.
You may be spending little to nothing on transportation now, but all that savings is going into the food. Of course, food is an essential need, but it’s a costly one too. Takeout by itself is already expensive, and when you factor in the cost of delivery and tips, that’s a lot of money.
This is the right time to start cooking your own meals. Go to your grocery store and buy what you need to cook. It helps to plan for at least a week at a time. Make a list of what you need and stick to it when you go shopping. Keep your meals simple, as making more elaborate meals will generally require more spices, flavor enhancers—more money. Also, shop smart by sticking with multi-purpose condiments, soy sauce, olive oil, salt, etc. These can work for various meals, so you don’t need to experiment with other non-essential items.
Coupons have been saving lives and wallets for longer than some people have been alive. They’ve evolved, but their purpose has remained the same—help people save on spending.
There has arguably been no better time than today’s situation to use coupons for all your eligible spending. There are many coupon apps, extensions, and online solutions, like Honey, that help give you better deals wherever you shop online.
The use of coupons extends beyond shopping. Many companies are offering coupons and discounts to their customers so they can still afford their services. From SaaS companies like Blue Host to writing services on writing service recommendation outfits like Pick The Writer, companies offer help to subsidize spending.
Find the companies you frequently use for whatever reason and ask if they have coupons available. Feel free to check out other businesses that will offer you discounts or coupons. Using coupons can happen in brick-and-mortar outlets too. There are options for stop and shop digital coupons and different coupon types for physical businesses. Either way, coupons are one of the best saving money tips to utilize.
Many of us make more monthly recurring payments than we can track from video and music streaming services, cloud storage service, meal subscription boxes, and more. Let’s just say that this isn’t the time for Netflix and chill.
What services are you currently subscribed to that are not essential? Amazon Prime, Youtube Premium, Netflix, Audible, Kindle Unlimited, Spotify, iTunes? Do you need all of them? Select one or two you’d like to keep and unsubscribe from the rest.
Of course, this is not meant to be a permanent situation. It’s just until things get back to normal. If you find, though, that you like the minimal approach to subscriptions, then go ahead and maintain the simplicity.
Grocery shopping is an excellent way to cut down on your spending. But there’s a way to cut it down even more: grow your own food. Save the money you’ll usually spend buying the herbs you need and start your own mini herb garden.
You won’t need much ground space to start either. Many herbs can even begin their journey in plant pots and are easy to care for. Herbs like parsley, basil, coriander, mint, chives, and oregano are good places to start. There are many other herbs to choose from too.
You may not even need to spend money on fertilizer. There are many innovative ways to fertilize soil without regular fertilizer. Eggshells, banana peels, coffee grounds, and other alternatives can serve as fertilizer. In no time, you’ll have a rich array of versatile herbs to whet your culinary appetite.
How much energy do you need to use, so you don’t die? The answer: not much. Before the pandemic and the consequent lockdown, you probably turned off most of your lights and appliances before heading out to work or school.
But you’re at home more often now, which means you may be subconsciously using more energy than you need. Turn off the lights in every room you aren’t currently using. And this is for night time only. All lights should be turned off during the day; pull up the shades and let in natural light.
Turn off the heat and use a fireplace or put on more layers of clothing. Opt for the crockpot or grill in place of the oven. Unplug any electronic appliance that isn’t in use. This can add up quickly, and when it’s time to pay your next energy bill, you’d be surprised how much you’ve saved.
We live in testing times, and it’s only natural that we adapt to make it through this period. A lot of this adaptation will be financial. There are many other ways to save money during this pandemic. But the strategies on this list are an excellent first step in the right direction.