We never thought that life will change like this. We were living a normal life and this pandemic happened and wrecked our finances.
This is a lesson to learn that anything may happen. It is in our best interests to be ready financially. And we are not sure when this will be over. The world economy will be struggling for some time, though we will bounce back to normal lives.
If we want to take control of the finances after this pandemic is over, we need to take some drastic steps to control our spending. There are few things which you can do to save some money during these times of lockdown.
1. Control your spending
There is no better way to save money than controlling your spending. I know, with all the markets and showrooms being closed at the moment, most of us are not spending any money on unnecessary things.
If you feel like you are still doing a lot of online shopping, this is the time to stop and save any cash or savings for the future.
2. Save on insurance premiums
Another place to save some money is your insurance premiums. There are a few things you can do to save some money and reduce your spending. The first thing to do is try to get all the insurance covers from one company. It can help you earn some loyalty discounts.
But compare all the premiums to see if staying with one company saves you money.
Car insurance: Most of us are staying home these days, if you are working from home or have lost your job, you can talk to your car insurance provider.
Insurance premiums are calculated on the basis of how much risk is posed to your car by driving. If your car is mostly parked in the garage nowadays, you may be eligible for a reduction.
Tip: Check for excess. Also, you can think about changing your excess amount. This can save you some money. You may change anything later when things go normal.
Home insurance premiums are calculated on the basis of how risky your residence place is. If there are high chances of robbery and theft, insurance premiums are higher.
As you may be staying at home most of the time, this risk may have reduced. You can talk to your insurance company about your situation for and ultimately reduce your premiums
1. Save on Mortgage interest rates
Even if you will be able to save a few dollars each month, it will add up at the end of the year.
Interest rate is historically low at this time. You may be able to save a few dollars now by either talking to your provider or switching your financial institution.
3. Avoiding huge energy bills
At this time, most of us and our family members are staying indoors. It is obvious that our energy bills will be higher. Try to limit energy use by being more mindful of how you use energy at home.
Talk to your family members and kids about the situation and how you can go through this together. Limiting the use of Air conditioning and changing the settings od temperatures will help you a lot.
In summers, instead of keeping your temperature settings at 22, keep two points higher at 24. It will save you money. If you don’t feel too hot or cold, don’t use it at all.
Save money on gas bills: If you use gas stoves for cooking like me, your gas bill is always higher. I use a gas stove for cooking but I always cook in big batches. Especially the onions, garlic and ginger, as this is the base of every curry. I always prepare it in a batch so that it can be used for the whole week.
It has helped me in reducing the gas bill. Also, I cook legumes and vegetables for two days together. It saves time as well as money.
Tips: Instead of using dryers, dry your clothes in Air. Drier cycles cost a lot. Air drying is good for saving money and is a healthy option. Also, cook in batches as this will save you money on gas bills.
4. Check your mobile plans
If you have big mobile plans, have a look and try to figure out if you can reduce that. Sometimes you are in contract with companies which is expired but you still remain with higher plans which you don’t need.
Especially at this time when you need to have cash with you to sustain for 6-8 months, it is a wise idea to talk to your company whether you can get a cheaper plan.
Also, if your kids use phones, talk to them if their needs can be met by calling using the internet. Your kids may be home nowadays and if they need to talk to their friends, they can talk through apps like Whatsapp.
Tip: Talk to your mobile plan’s providers and if the contract period is over, you can use better plans for your phone.
5. Save on groceries
There are a few things that you can do to save money on groceries. Try not to stockpile fresh foods. This will waste your money instead of saving you any money.
Cook from your freezer
This the time to give your freezer a new lease of life by cooking everything stored there for a long time.
Shop home brands
This tip is everywhere and it has some weight into it. Home-brands are always cheaper and quality is good as compared with the price. I don’t see any difference in washing hands with the home-brand hand-wash and the branded one. So why not save the money and make your self richer instead of big brands.
Cook from scratch
Cooking from scratch is not only a good option for saving money but it is a great healthy option too.
Create something new from your leftover foods. If you made a stir fry in your dinner you can make a sandwich in the breakfast. Or you can make a wrap with those stir-fries.
Tip: Shop for groceries conservatively by keeping your list to the ingredients according to your present needs. And not buying anything which you may need in future.
6. Avoid any type of debt
Avoid any type of debt at this time. Don’t use credit cards for shopping and anything else. You may not be able to repay the amount which can further exaggerate the problem.
So the only tip for this one is, stay away from any debt. Governments are doing a lot in providing financial support. Check with your country’s policies regarding this and you may be eligible for financial support.
7. Create a new budget
If you already love to budget, start creating a new budget. This is the time we are learning to live only on basics and you may be surprised to know how much you spend on the things you don’t need.
Travel, parties, outings, gatherings and even shopping are not possible at this time. You can skip all these categories form your budget. Also, you may have stockpiled many items which will be sufficient for the coming months. So you may not need to buy those items.
8. Stay healthy
Keep your health at optimum levels by exercising, staying inside and eating healthy. A healthy body and mind can help you cope with anything happening around you.
Keeping yourself healthy helps not only in your own finances but it helps by not overwhelming the health system.
9. Make minimum payments on credit card debt
Under normal conditions, it is advised to pay your debt as early as possible. But the situation is different now. It is difficult to make even minimum payments. So instead of paying your debt fast, consider paying only the required payments.
10. Consolidate your debt
Interest rates are all-time low. If you have debt on different accounts, you can try consolidating it at one place with lower interest rates.
It may help you pay less money on interest rates. Even a few dollars a month will help you save a lot on a yearly basis.
11. Keep an emergency fund
There will be no better time to think about an emergency fund. Even if you are tight on budget and don’t have money, keep at least 10 dollars a week for your emergency fund. It will help you have some safe heaven.
At present, Governments are helping to cope with the situation, but the economy will be in a bad condition in coming time even when this pandemic will be over.
Building your emergency fund by starting with a few dollars can give you peace of mind.
13. Start living a frugal life
This is a good time to start living a frugal life. Living a frugal life will help you to learn to live within your means.
“It’s not your salary that makes you rich, It’s your spending habits” Charles A. Jaffe
Few things if done consistently saves you lot of money. Buying grocery with a strict list, cooking food from scratch, not buying everything from a brand, cutting your grocery bill, energy bills all add up at the end.
These are really simple habits or you can say it is being mindful of your living and spending, but they have a tremendous effect on finances.
- 35 fun activities to do on a No spend a month
- Cashback sites and apps to save money and get cashback.
How the world economy is getting effected?
Productions are getting affected everywhere and so is the economy. Even when this will be over, things will not be over. We have to adjust the new normal and it may be lower pay rates or no jobs at all.
It is not about one country or one place, it is about the world. Economies will take time to recover and it will hit hard everybody.
The only action we can take is to save whatever we can and live conservatively. This is not for the short term, living frugally will help you when the world economy will start recovering.
Even when everything will be over, economies of all countries will be in more debt so will be people like us. We are deferring our mortgages which we have to pay anyway. So individuals will be in more debt.
Banks who have slashed interest rates to historically lower rates will definitely increase their rates. Like other businesses, banks and financial institutions will be in recovery mode.
This is what I read in other publications. This post is for information purpose only.
I just wanted to share how I love to save money even when I don’t have tons of money.
I hope this will help you in getting your finances a bit under control and you will be able to go through this with courage.
Let us pray and hope that world recovers soon and everything becomes normal.