Cutting Expenses In The Wake Of Coronavirus
With millions of jobs lost, countless people in this country are desperate to save money. If you have lost a significant portion of your income due to Coronavirus or Covid-19, it is time to make some changes. Take a look at some ways that you can significantly cut your expenses right now.
1) Defer Payments
Just about every installment loan provider has made it easy to defer payments. With a deferral, you are essentially moving a payment to the end of your loan term. So, if you skip a month, you add a month to the end of the term.
This is a great way to free up some money immediately, but you will eventually have to pay it, at the end of your loan. In addition, the total amount of interest that you end up paying will go up because interest will continue to accumulate.
Even if you can make your payment now, if you have been impacted, it may be a good idea to defer a payment or two to free up some money. Take the money that you would have spent and add it to your savings.
In order to defer a payment, you will need to contact your loan provider. This may be as easy as logging into your account as many have made it very easy to defer payments in these times. Log in and look for a link asking if you have been impacted by Coronavirus and then follow the instructions.
If your loan provider has not made it that easy, call them up and ask for a deferment. If you are in good standing, it should be easy to do.
2) Slash Your Food Bill
Your food bill is one of the easiest to manipulate. This includes everything from dinners out to your weekly grocery store trip. For a family of four, up until now, you might need 900 dollars or more to pay for your food each month. This is a number that you can drastically reduce.
First, you need to cut out meals from restaurants. You have probably already eliminated sit down restaurant meals, but you should also eliminate take out. It can cost 50 dollars or more for a simple take out meal from a restaurant and this is money that you just can not afford to lose, so cut them out.
Making all of your food at home is key if you want to save as much money as possible. If you can not cook, now is a great time to learn and with the internet, learning to cook is easier than ever.
To cut expenses even further, you also need to start meal planning. Plan out all of your meals for a week before you go to the grocery store, concentrating on cheap staples like rice, beans and potatoes. When you have a menu, you can then purchase only the ingredients that you need without wasting money on things that you do not need. Meal planning takes the guesswork out of grocery shopping, making you ore efficient.
3) Cut Out Non Essential Expenses
Take a hard look at your budget and determine what expenses can be cut entirely.
If you are still paying for cable or internet, you need to cut it in favor of a streaming service like Netflix. Doing so will change the way that you watch television but since the average American needs $200 to pay for their cable bill, it is a huge savings.
Besides cable, you probably have many other non essential expenses that you can cut out. Things like gym memberships and the like will also need to be cut.
4) Lower Your Necessary Monthly Bills
After you have cut out your non essential bills, it is time to look at all of those expenses that you can not live without. Scrutinize everything.
Look at your electric bill, for example. If you are in a deregulated area, can you find a service provider that is offering a lower rate? Are you paying for a higher internet speed than you need or is there a cheaper provider?
When was the last time that you shopped for cheaper car insurance? Insurers like to nickle and dime you over the years and you might not realize how out of line your policy premium has gotten. If you want to stay with your provider, you might want to chat with your agent and look for discounts. You are probably driving less these days, maybe your premium could be reduced if you inform them of this.
A cell phone bill is also something to look at. If you are using a major provider, it might save you to switch to a pre-paid service. These services use the same towers and the only real difference is that you pay your bill at the beginning of the month instead of the end. Making the switch could cut your bill in half. For the typical family of four, you could need 1300 dollars less a year to pay your bill.
Every bill is subject to scrutiny during this time and even if you only save a few dollars a month, these things can be substantial in the aggregate.
5) Eliminate Impulse Spending
For some, when you are bored you shop. This is why companies like Amazon and Wayfair are recording record sales right now from people shopping online.
For best results, stop shopping for fun. You can tell yourself that you are just browsing, but if you do it long enough, you will find something that you can not resist buying. Find an activity that you like better than surfing the internet, such as reading a book.
To further keep those impulse buys at bay, go on to your favorite websites and erase your credit card information. These websites push the “one click buy” for one reason, to increase sales not to make it more convenient for you.