Saving During Covid-19
The Coronoavirus caught most of us by surprise. It is a real game changer and it shut down the economy like nothing has ever been able to do in the past. If you have been impacted by Coronavirus, you might be experiencing a reduction or even a total loss in income.
A change in income means a change ins spending habits and this means that you probably need to make some cuts. If saving money is not second nature to you, we can help at Loan Monkey with some simple tips.
Easy Money Saving Tips
Take a look at these easy to implement tips that will allow you to save hundreds of dollars each month. How many can you implement?
1) Write Down What You Spend
Many of us spend unnecessary money without knowing it. This is a habit that you should change if you want to save. You have to be able to account for where your money is going if you are expected to be able to make changes.
Spend a few days or even a week writing down everything that you spend money on. Keep a small notebook with you and record every transaction from your morning coffee to the toll that you pay getting to work. At the end of this time, analyze what you see.
If you are like most people who, up until Coronavirus, have been able to spend freely, you might be shocked. It is amazing what we can waste our money on. Make it a point to cut out all of the little money wasters that add up. Brew your own coffee, take your lunch and even skip the toll lane if it does not sve you much time.
2) Shop With The Right Mindset
A lot of our bad spending is related to how we shop. We pick the wrong ime to shop and often for the wrong reasons.
One way people do this is by shopping for fun. If your hobby is shopping, this can be a real problem. Sure some people can window shop for hours and not buy a thing but this is not the case with most hobby shoppers. You look around long enough and you will find something that you can not resist buying, even if you do not need it.
Another bad shopping habit is shopping for groceries when you are hungry. It truly does make a difference and a big one. You will wind up with a cart full of high dollar snack items. You can easily spend 10 to 20 percent more on a shopping trip by going hungry, so eat first and get 300 dollars or more back in your pocket. Even better, shop online with free curbside pick up. That will allow you to select just what you need without all of the store distractions.
3) Make A List
When you have to go to a store, any store, make a list. Without one, you will almost always buy something that you did not need or forget something and have to go back. That would cost you time as well as money.
When making a list, be sure to account for what you have in your home. Do a quick sweep of your home pantry or junk drawer to make sure that you do not already have some of the items to avoid wasting money.
As far as your grocery list goes, make sure that you are meal planning. Plan out your meals for an entire week and then only buy those items that you need, checking the pantry first of course. Meal planning will help you avoid money on items that you do not need or that would go to waste like produce.
4) Avoid The Big Labels
Now is not the time to be a label snob. If you are trying to save money due to being impacted by Coronavirus, you may have to make some changes. Avoiding labels for store brands and generics is the way to go.
This is particularly true when it comes to groceries. Store brands and generics are often made by the big manufacturers anyway, so you might not even notice a difference. When shopping in stores, be sure to check the lower shelf. This is where they keep the value items as they want to keep the profit making name brands at eye level.
When it comes to shopping the unknown brands, do use a bit of caution. Some things in generic form are not a good deal. When shopping clothing make sure that they quality is there. When shopping electronics, read the reviews. In some cases, paying a few dollars more for a name brand makes sense.
5) Do Things Yourself
If you had a good income before Covid-19, you might be used to paying people to do things that you can do yourself. If you lost income, it is probably time to start taking these things on yourself.
Things like house cleaning, lawn care, car washing and even some general home maintenance can be done by virtually anyone. If you do not know how to do it, do a search online and you will find a plethora of information.
Paying people to do things that you can do yourself when you have more time than money is a huge mistake. You need 1500 dollars a year to pay a lawn service, 3000 dollars or more to pay a maid, etc, etc. This is money that is better spent elsewhere or better put into savings.
6) Shop Your Monthly Expenses
If you have not price shopped your monthly expenses in 6 months or more, it might be time to do so. Companies like to slowly increase your cost or rates over time and the result can be substantial in the end.
Car insurance companies are notorious for this. Every time your policy renews it probably goes up a few dollars. Ever notice how more and more companies are using 6 month terms instead of 12 months? Among other things, it allows them to increase your premiums faster with more renewals. Take the time to call around looking for rates and you could save hundreds of dollars a year.
Other monthly bills are similar. If you have the choice to choose your electric provider, go compare rates. Look around for a cheaper internet provider. Even look for a better price on home owners insurance. You might be surprised that what one company charges 2000 dollars a year for another will get 3000 dollars for. And that is for the exact same coverage.
7) Cut Out Non Necessities
If you have a budget, take a good hard look at it. If you do not have one, write a budget out and then take a long hard look at it. Highlight expenses that you can live without and then cut them.
This is the time to make hard decisions. If you have experienced a loss of income due to Coronavirus, you need to eliminate bills before things get worse. Cancel your gym membership (not that you have been able to use it), ditch the cable in favor of streaming and eliminate any other expendable subscriptions.
Of the services that you keep, look to ways to make them cheaper. Cancel Hulu for a month in favor of a fee month of Netflix. When the Netflix free month is here, switch back to Hulu and enjoy the free month offer that they will inevitably send you. Little things like this add up.
This is an unprecedented time. Coronavirus has changed us and we will probably never go back to the way things were before. It is time to adapt in order to survive as well as possible. We will get through this.
Good luck, stay safe and stay strong.