Due to COVID-19-related social distancing and self-isolation measures, businesses were closed down and people lost their jobs. As a result, a majority of the population faces a financial mess: lost income, investments and savings.
Regardless of the setback, there are still many ways to save your money during the pandemic. Since the shops are closed, you can save money on unnecessary expenses. Plus, plenty of household chores, such as doing the laundry and dry cleaning, can be DIY-ed, you can save some dough on plenty of things.
Consider the following:
Start a Pandemic Budget
If you have a current budget, scrap that and make a new one that suits the current situation. Track your income and expenses regularly and match it against your current earning abilities. You can do your budget monthly or by paycheck; just pick a method that works well with you.
Spreadsheets are the budgeter’s best friend. But if you want something easier, budgeting apps can also work for you.
Cut Back on Subscriptions
Since you have more free time, it’s easy to subscribe to apps, TV streaming and physical subscriptions (e.g. product boxes and gym memberships). There’s nothing wrong with subscribing to a few “essentials,” such as Netflix and Spotify. But if you have more than 10 recurring subscriptions, pause for a moment and re-evaluate your current list.
Save more money by unsubscribing to platforms you can part with (even if temporarily). Skip a month or two of your product subscriptions or reduce the number of streaming TV subscriptions. The money you save from unsubscribing could be bigger than you think.
You don’t need matching China plates or plastic containers to perfect the art of meal prep. Meal prepping saves you money by keeping you from buying too much food at the grocery store.
With a structured food plan, you’ll less likely binge on ramen, cookies and other junk food.
Before you make a grocery store run, list the meals you want to cook. Simplify your cooking by making large quantities or preparing casseroles. You can also bake lasagna, grill up chicken breasts or boil eggs for a week.
Buy Your Products in Bulk
Buy your necessities in bulk, but do not hoard. For example, buy different meats (such as ground turkey, chicken breast, and canned tuna) in bulk to save you from multiple grocery trips. Before you do, however, check the per ounce or pound prices against single-serving prices.
Bulk buying works well for other grocery items you can keep in the freezer or pantry for later use.
Grow Your Food
Save more on your grocery runs by growing your food. The soil, after all, is there for your taking. You need not start big; start small by planting herbs, such as parsley, mint and chives. These herbs are easy to care for and do not require plenty of attention.
In terms of fertilization, use eggshells or coffee grounds. Water the soil and turn the dirt every few days to keep them healthy.
Slow Down on Your “Fun” Spending
Even though you’re not paying for taxi or train rides, you still have to slow down on your spending. Save more money by controlling your unnecessary expenses. Removed saved credit card information from retail sites. Block marketing emails to keep yourself from participating in sales.
If you are prone to browsing or scrolling through your favorite retail sites when stressed or bored, try to control yourself. Retail therapy could put a wrench in your savings.
Rework Student Loan Debt Payments
On March 13, President Donald Trump agreed to waive federal student loan interests. Students can also place their loans in administrative forbearance, which means you can stop making payments on your loans. The good news is your loans will not accrue any interests. Take those savings and spend it on basic needs during the quarantine period.
Do Your Hair at Home
Although you have the liberty to be laid-back with your fashion sense at home, a little brush and styling of your hair can help you still look decent during the quarantine. If you want to have a haircut though, you’re probably not headed to the salon any time soon. Instead, look for ways to cut, color, and style your hair at home.
If you are planning to trim your hair at home, the Internet is your friend. Search up for some YouTube videos to learn more before you cut.
This quarantine season, make the most of your time at home by working on your savings. Whether you decide to set up automatic savings or cut out spending, lockdown your money right away to weather the financial drought of COVID-19.