The year is coming to a close, yet there is still no end in sight of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we don’t want to dwell on that depressing fact, there is one important thing that we have to talk about: how to reduce your expenses.
Many people have lost their sources of income, and these are the people who were forced to reduce their expenses to make their money last. But for some fortunate others, their spending during the pandemic is just the same as it was pre-pandemic, if not even higher. If it sounds like you belong in the latter group, here’s how you can reduce your expenses and save more money while things are still uncertain:
It’s okay to miss your favorite dishes from your go-to restaurants, even the expensive coffee that you always buy during your afternoon breaks at work. But you know what’s not okay? Going to the drive-through every other day or placing order after order on your favorite delivery app. Not only is this a great burden on your wallet, but it’s also an unhealthy habit, especially if you get less physical activity while in quarantine.
Cook more at home. Aside from being a healthier option, it’s also a great way to save money.
Cancel unused subscriptions and memberships
There’s no reason to keep paying for that gym membership if you aren’t using it anymore during the pandemic. The same goes for services that you don’t use that often, such as cable, streaming sites, subscription boxes, and more.
Bring down utility costs
Being at home all day means that you’re also consuming more electricity and water. If your bills are higher than usual, reduce your consumption by:
- Turning off all lights and electronics when not in use
- Adjusting your thermostat to consume less energy
- Taking shorter showers and fewer baths
- Washing dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher
- Maximizing each laundry load
- Unplugging unused electronics and appliances
- Reducing your screen time
- Putting devices on low-power mode
Give up grocery luxuries for now
This might be a bit difficult to do, but it’s going to be better for your wallet in the long run. When grocery shopping, cut out as many luxuries as you can, such as brand name products, choice cuts of meat, alcohol, aged cheeses, and other expensive items.
Reduce online shopping
Do you find yourself shopping online more frequently since the pandemic started? There’s nothing wrong with ordering things online, especially since it’s a safer alternative to going to physical stores, but be careful not to go overboard. Retail therapy can be a great stress reliever during quarantine, but it shouldn’t drain your bank account in the process.
Pamper yourself at home
Skip the barbershop, nail salon, spa, and other services even if restrictions are eased in your area. Instead, try to cut your hair at home (or have someone do it for you), do your own nails, and have a spa day in your bathroom. Aside from being safer, doing self-pampering at home comes at little to no cost, meaning more money for your savings.
Talk to your creditors
Reach out to your home loan lender, credit card companies, and other creditors and ask if you can defer your payments. Doing this will help reduce your expenses in the meantime, allowing more money to go to other important things.
Eliminate non-essential travel
Unfortunately, it’s still not a hundred percent safe to go outside, and the country’s coronavirus cases are still rising. That said, eliminating non-essential travel will not only keep you safe, but it’s also one of the best ways to reduce your expenses. You can have more extra cash to use for emergencies by saving money on gas, plane tickets, parking fees, and other travel-related costs.
Look for free entertainment
Keeping yourself occupied can be quite challenging when you’re stuck at home all day. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to spend money to entertain yourself. Instead of buying another video game or movie online, find free entertainment sources, such as old DVDs that you already have, new hobbies, or virtual museum tours online.
With these tips, you should see a significant difference in your spending, which means more money in your bank account. Even if you haven’t been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, you must prepare for unexpected occurrences in the future, and the best way to do that is to stash more cash in your emergency fund.
We are still living in uncertain times, so avoid being complacent about your finances and safety.