How to Save Money During a Pandemic
Saving money can be a difficult process at the best of times, but it becomes especially necessary and also harder when your world is being rocked by a worldwide pandemic. Many people live from paycheck to paycheck and might not know what steps they should and can take to make their cash stretch that extra mile while their income is struggling. Don’t worry! The first thing you should keep in mind during a crisis is that you should not panic. We have got you covered with these tips that should help you make your cash last and hopefully stretch long enough to make it through these dark times.
1. Make use of deals and coupons
There are deals everywhere, all the time, and because everyone knows that times are desperate right now a lot of businesses will be offering their goods and services for lower prices and great deals. Many people ignore these because they don’t have the time to search through dozens of random coupons to find one that will be useful to them, but if you are practicing social distancing then you probably are finding yourself with a lot more free time than you are used to. This is a good way to fill that time and save yourself a quick buck at the same time!
You can even turn this into a group activity if you have multiple people in your household and with a little creativity you might find some free entertainment while performing an otherwise tedious task. Lockdown is a challenge to our creativity and self-motivation and it is up to you to meet that challenge, but if you need a little help or inspiration you could consider developing a point system based on how useful a particular coupon is.
2. Consider changing insurance and phone plans
A lot of the more expensive phone plans are popular because of the higher data rates and limits that they allow. That is understandable when you are often traveling all over the place, but if you’re at home then you probably don’t need all that data, do you?
You can save yourself a lot of money each month by temporarily lowering your phone plan or even choosing to cancel it altogether if you aren’t stuck in a contract. Since you will be spending most of your time at home anyway, you can probably get by using social media for contact and save yourself quite a bit on phone charges.
You also will want to take a look at your insurance plans and see about renegotiating them or changing providers altogether if your current one is being stubborn. A lot of insurance companies are offering new deals while we deal with this pandemic and you could do yourself a real favor by getting on top of that while you can still take advantage of it.
3. Avoid takeout and delivery for meals
The temptation might be strong to purchase takeout meals or have things delivered so you don’t have to go outside or make a mess cooking in your home, but you should really avoid this kind of behavior because it will get expensive very quickly and it doesn’t truly provide any protection.
You are still exposing yourself to illness every time you take something from outside of your home inside of it, and even more so if you interact with the delivery personnel. You are better off taking a single trip to a grocery store, picking up a large amount of food, then rationing your resources at home. This will save you a lot of money and keep you from being infected.
4. Make sure you are only subscribing to things you need
While you have all of this free time on your hands, you should consider taking a look at all of your monthly or yearly subscriptions and cancel some of them. For instance, if you are quarantining as you should be, then you don’t need a gym membership since you will be doing all of your workouts at home.
That World of Warcraft subscription that you’ve had for 9 years is probably handy for when you want to jump back into the game, but if you aren’t playing that often then you might want to just consider finding your entertainment elsewhere and saving yourself that cash every month. Taking the time to pare down your subscriptions will probably save you a lot of money that you might have forgotten over time because each of those little purchases became background noise.
5. Find cheaper entertainment
Speaking of cheaper entertainment, that doesn’t just go for gaming. There are a lot of expensive services that people pick up over time, like multiple video or music streaming platforms and magazines. You probably don’t want all those magazine subscriptions right now since bringing them into your home increases the risk of infection every time. You also could save yourself a lot of cash by canceling those streaming subscriptions and buying a couple of good books instead!
6. Make use of free trials
Just about everything has free trials on the internet, so you might want to shop around and see what new things you can take advantage of for a week without having to spend a dime! You might find a few good ways to waste some time during quarantine this way that you never would have even considered in other circumstances.
7. Consider selling unwanted and unneeded items
If you have a closet or attic full of stuff that you just haven’t had the time to go through, now is the time! You might have all kinds of stuff lying around that you’ve forgotten about that could be especially useful to someone else and if you sell those things then that is income you just had laying around your house, not being useful to anyone!