The 2020 pandemic threw millions of people for a loop. With job loss at an all-time high and income levels down, it became much harder (if not impossible) for consumers to save.
If this sounds like you, I have some simple ways you can save money during a pandemic to make sure you’re taken care of should another economic fall occur.
It doesn’t seem like canceling cable would do much, but it can save you $100+ a month. I did and it saved me $120 a month. In the grand scheme of things, that’s $1,440 a year. This amount could cover most basic emergencies and/or get me well on my way to saving 3 – 6 months of my expenses in an emergency fund.
I cut the cord and pay myself instead. Even with the minimal interest rates savings accounts pay, I know my money will grow.
Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships
Speaking of subscriptions or memberships, I also looked closely at my bank statement to see what else I was paying for that I don’t need.
Gym memberships, warehouse club memberships, magazine subscriptions, and online ‘trial’ subscriptions that I never canceled all added up. I canceled them and sent the money straight to my savings account instead.
Negotiate with Lenders and Utility Providers
I was surprised to learn how many lenders and utility providers were willing to work with me. My lenders offered payment assistance programs including payment deferral or temporary payment arrangements.
Utility companies also have programs that helped me while I was struggling. All I had to do was ask about payment arrangement programs and/or budget plans to help get my utility bills on track.
Shop for Cheaper Insurance
Insurance is important, but it’s not necessary to overpay for it. I listed out my insurance policies and premiums and then shopped around.
Most people save the most money shopping around for car and auto insurance annually. New insurance companies will do what they can to get your business, which for me meant much lower premiums.
Don’t Grocery Shop Without a List
If there’s one area most people waste money, it’s food. Before I head to the grocery store, I shop my own pantry and fridge. I see what food I have and what I can make out of it for the week.
Next, I make a list of what I need to supplement the food I have on hand. I try to shop the sales at my local stores and only buy what’s on my list. This way I cut out impulse buys and save money by focusing on the items I can buy on sale or with a coupon.
Automate your Savings
Don’t leave savings to chance. Any money I manage to cut out from my bills, I set up on a direct transfer to my savings account each month. This eliminates the risk of forgetting or assuming I don’t have the money to save.
Make Savings a Priority During the Pandemic
The bottom line is you must always prioritize savings. No amount is too small. Whether you can save $5 or $500, put it away. Every dollar you can save today will be worth much more tomorrow.