With businesses cutting jobs, it makes sense to cut back on your spending. That being said, here are 15 ways you can save money during the coronavirus pandemic.
15. Cancel Subscription Services You Don’t Need
An easy way to save money during this pandemic is to cancel any monthly subscription services you don’t need, be it a streaming service such as Netflix, a meal subscription box, like Blue Apron, or iCloud storage via Apple. “Right now is not the time to have a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality,” Regina Conway, consumer expert at Slickdeals.net, told GOBankingRates. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t have any subscription services at all. In fact, many of them have become even more important during the pandemic. Just keep the one(s) you use most and get rid of the others.
14. Skip Nonessential Food Spending
Being stuck in the house has made it easier for us to take advantage of restaurants’ takeout and delivery options. But, those tips and delivery fees add up quickly. Plus, restaurant food can be quite costly. Even eating at McDonald’s every day will add up over a short period of time. That being said, make use of the extra time you now have on your hands and prepare some home-cooked meals instead. Just remember to watch your spending at the grocery store. The last thing you want to do is make a lot of impulse purchases.
13. Cancel Your Gym Membership
Like other businesses, many gyms have closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, why are you still hanging on to (and paying for) your gym membership? You can’t go in there just yet anyway, so you might as well cancel your membership, keep a few bucks in your wallet, and get in a good workout at home. There are tons of apps you can use to staying healthy and in shape while quarantined. You can also view workout videos on YouTube as well. Or, you can get creative and come up with your own fitness routine. The possibilities are endless!
12. Don’t Go For Joy Rides
We get it. You’re on lockdown and you need to get out of the house. But, driving around town every day just for the fun of it can burn a lot of gas — and that will cost you a lot in fuel costs. So, what can you do when you need to get out of the house? Go for a walk! “If the weather is nice enough outside, walk around your neighborhood instead, and save money while exercising and keeping your mind occupied,” Leslie Tayne, founder and head attorney at the debt solutions law firm Tayne Law Group, told GOBankingRates.
11. Claim the Benefits Available to You
As a worker or jobseeker in the UK, there are benefits you’re entitled to that you might not be taking advantage of. These include statutory sick pay, employment and support allowance, jobseekers’ allowance, personal independence payments (a tax-free benefit for those who are dealing with a long-term disability or mental health condition), and universal credit (monthly or bi-monthly payments to help with your living costs). There are even grants available from a range of organizations to help you stay afloat.
We have similar programs available here in the U.S. So, talk to someone in the human resources department at your job, or seek legal advice from a professional to make sure you’re getting all the benefits that are available to you.
10. Shop Around for the Best Deals
Perhaps the best part about shopping around for the best deals in this day and time is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home. There are loads of websites that let you track and compare prices at different shops. For example, “there are some you can use day in, day out to save money on everything from TVs to trainers,” Andy Webb, of the Be Clever With Your Cash blog, told the BBC. “An extra feature of these sites is the price history tool. You’ll be able to see if the current price is higher or lower than usual — a handy guide to work out if the lowest price is actually the best price too.”
9. Quit Buying Bottled Water
According to a 2019 survey by Ladder, the average American spends about $17.50 a month on bottled water. Most of them do so because they believe that bottled water is safer than tap water. The funny thing is that many bottled water companies actually use public water sources for their products. In fact, more than 25 percent of bottled water comes from a municipal supply. So, you’re not really getting anything that different than what comes out of your tap.
8. Slow Down on the Retail Therapy
Shopping can be very therapeutic for some people — especially now that they’re stuck in the house. And, with the advent of the internet, shopping has gotten even easier. You don’t even have to leave home to do it. Unfortunately, it’s not a wise use of your money during the current pandemic. “Retailers are trying to minimize their losses by having frequent online sales, so ask yourself if you really need the item in your cart before checking out,” Tayne told GOBankingRates. “If you find yourself browsing sales and purchasing items because they’re a ‘good deal,’ consider unsubscribing from the retailer’s list and minimize your time browsing due to boredom.”
7. Cancel Your Seasonal Memberships
If you have season tickets to sporting events, theater performances, or the like, you might want to consider canceling them ASAP. Many of these events have been getting canceled anyway, so there really is no need to hang on to these memberships.
Also, just because an event has been canceled does not mean you aren’t still being charged for it. That being said, make sure you review your credit card statements and identify any recurring expenses over the last few months.
6. Lower Your Auto Premium
Did you know that one of the factors an auto insurance company considers when calculating your premium is how much you’ll be driving your car? Since you’re not doing as much driving these days due to the coronavirus pandemic, you might want to contact your insurance company to get them to adjust your premium for you. You could also visit their website to see if you can make the adjustment yourself.
FYI, Allstate and American Family Insurance said in April that they were going to start refunding premiums due to a decline in driving. Meanwhile, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and Geico said they would partially refund premiums.
5. Defer Your Payments
Check with your financial institutions to see if it’s at all possible that you could defer your loan payments, credit card balances, and the like. You can always check their websites to see what options they’re offering. Or, it may be better for you to reach out via telephone to see what personalized options are available just for you. Keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. For example, some deferment arrangements will add interest to your debt. So, just make sure to do your research ahead of time.
4. Cancel Your Kid’s Cell Phone
If there are any teens reading this, please don’t panic. We’re not talking about your phone. We’re referring to the cell phone that your little brother or sister has that your parents use to track their whereabouts. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, listen up parents: your kids are now at home with you on lockdown. There’s no need to spend money on a phone to keep track of them when they’re with you every day, all day. Get rid of this expense for now. You can always turn those phones back on later.
3. Take Advantage of Coupons and Cash-Back Offers
You may not be able to use paper coupons at brick-and-mortar stores right now as much as you have in the past, but you can still take advantage of digital coupons when shopping online — or even in-store, for that matter. In fact, most major grocery stores have digital coupons available on their respective apps. Not only that, but many apps let you earn cashback for shopping. Coupons.com is one of them. They recently had a special offer for free hot dog buns. To get them for free, you had to purchase the buns then submit an image of your receipt using your smartphone. Once Coupons.com received your receipt, they reimbursed you via PayPal for the cost of the buns, up to $2.00. So, if they cost less than that, you got them for free!
2. Put Some of Your Financial Goals on Hold
We know you’re excited to pay off your mortgage and credit card debt, but now isn’t the best time to do that. Unless you’re still working and have enough savings to cover at the very least three months of your living expenses, that money you were going to put toward your financial goals should be used in another manner. For example, consider putting that money into a savings account. Or, use it to cover essential purchases like food, rent, healthcare, etc.
1. Keep Contributing to Your Emergency Savings
Any money that you save from cutting expenses during the current pandemic can and should be put into your emergency savings. That’s because, according to a Federal Reserve study, about 40 percent of Americans can’t handle an emergency costing more than $400. So, contributing to your emergency fund will help in times like these.
TIP: Don’t just let your money sit in the bank. To get the most out of your savings, find a bank or type of account that will give you the best return.
Your turn! What ways have you been saving money during the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know in the comments below.