With fewer people working, fewer consumers spending money, and both small and large-sized businesses folding under the financial pressure, saving cash makes good sense. Fortunately, there are five simple things that you can do to start squirreling away extra money right now.
1. Don’t Eat Your Emotions
The surest way to overeat is to lock yourself at home, immerse yourself in dire and overwhelming news, and spend an abundance of time engaging in sedentary activities. For most people, this is exactly what shelter-in-place orders have wrought.
While you might feel inspired to support struggling local businesses by ordering takeout every day, it may be smarter to support your own financial health instead. This is the perfect time to hone your cooking skills and make good use of the food items that you already have in your pantry. Rather than panic buying, start using the goods that are hiding at the backs of your shelves and nearing their expiry dates.
Hearty, home-cooked foods that include basic ingredients such as beans, pasta, oatmeal, fish, potatoes, and rice will keep you fuller longer.
They’ll also prove infinitely cheaper to prepare than the costs of having fast food brought directly to your door.
When you feel driven to eat fat, sodium, and sugar-laden foods, remind yourself that this urge is probably tied more to the stress of current world events than actual hunger.
Besting the temptation to over-indulge on takeout foods is easiest to do when you already have a homemade pot of chili or stew simmering on the stove.
2. Use Your Free Time To Review Your Spending
Like many consumers, you’re probably amazed at the tremendous amount of downtime that you suddenly have on your hands. Although the cause of your free time might not be a positive one, you shouldn’t overlook this outstanding opportunity to reorganize your life and your finances.
This is the time to take care of all finance-related concerns that you’ve never been able to get around to. Find out what your credit score is and look for ways to improve it.
More importantly, take a good look at all of the miscellaneous spending that you’re doing each month. You may find that you’re signed up for multiple streaming services when you and your household really use just one.
Start cutting extra services that you don’t need and aren’t regularly using. If you’ve been paying money for a gym membership but have a dusty treadmill sitting in your garage, you can use some of your newfound free time to create a small yet functional home gym.
Small-sized service charges can quickly add up. Spending a day eliminating as many of these as you possibly can will leave you with more savings and more disposable income.
There may even be several larger expenses that you wish to offload. For instance, if you own multiple vehicles and really need just one, you should learn more about how to donate a car.
This is an excellent way to do something good for organizations that are currently struggling, lower your monthly insurance premiums, and reduce your overall vehicle maintenance costs among other things. Best of all, you’ll also get a nice tax write-off that you can enjoy in the future.
3. Avoid Impulse Purchases On The Internet
One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the greater public is that very few people have sufficient money in savings. Even if your current bills are paid and you still have income coming in, this event could be showing you that nothing is absolutely guaranteed.
Thus, while you may be tempted to wile away your shelter-in-place hours by shopping for new electronics or other non-essentials, you should take this time to condition yourself against impulse spending.
4. Start Practicing Mindfulness
Avoiding emotion-driven eating and impulse purchases sounds easy enough, but to actually put these strategies into practice, you may need to learn the art of mindfulness. This is the skill of completely immersing yourself in the present moment.
Mindfulness will alleviate the anxiety that you have about the future, while allowing you to fully appreciate what you have right now. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to reconnect with those around you, step back from general consumerism, and enter into a savings-oriented mindset.
other valuable tips:
5. Stop Outsourcing What You Can Do For Yourself
In a normally hectic and fast-paced world, outsourcing things like your laundry and household cleaning probably makes sense. Now that most people are spending the vast majority of their time at home, however, reclaiming these basic yet essential activities makes good financial sense.
If you’ve invested in high-end home cleaning tools like a robotic vacuum cleaner and a top-of-the-line washing machine, you don’t need to spend extra cash to have third-party professionals run them for you.
As people peer into the face of a deep and looming recession, going back to more traditional ways of getting things done will invariably result in significant savings. Best of all, if you find yourself truly pinched for cash, you also have the option of offloading some of your more expensive and less frequently used cleaning equipment.
Never before has there been a time when saving cash has been so important. COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis that’s unlike anything most people have ever experienced in their lifetimes.
Whether struggling with your finances already or simply worrying about the financial hardship that lies ahead, cutting your spending is essential. With these five strategies, you can spend less, save more, and create a comfortable cushion against any economic developments that lie ahead.
Image Credit: save money during covid-19 by Pixabay
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