Although this pandemic is producing some terrible suffering, there are a few silver linings many of us have discovered. If you’re struggling to make ends meet each month, you can do a few things which will help save money during the pandemic.
1. Fewer Trips to the Pump
If you’re one of the lucky ones who get to work remotely, you are already saving money. Fewer commutes mean less fuel burned in your automobile and, of course, more money in your pocket. On average, especially in a dual-income home, the savings can add up to hundreds of dollars each month.
Another benefit to reduced or eliminated commute time is minor wear and tear on your vehicle. From tires to brake pads and fuel pumps, the simple fact is your vehicle will get less of a workout and not require as much maintenance.
2. Saving Money on Clothing
This revenue-saving approach is something that many of us don’t spend much time or attention on, but it can provide substantial money back in your pocket.
Think of all the dress code requirements your job had when you went onsite to work each day. Those shoes, shirts and pants, skirts and blouses needed washing or a trip to the cleaners. Eventually, they wore out and needed replacement.
In this current situation of ours, a business meeting may end up being a virtual conference call and a day spent in front of your computers in your favorite pair of sweatpants, fuzzy slippers, and casual shirts.
If you are lucky enough to work remotely, money spent on clothes and cleaners can result in savings of anywhere between ten and thirty dollars a week.
3. Do It Yourself Projects
The internet is full of videos that provide step-by-step visuals and tricks and tips for almost any project you can think of doing. From installing hardwood flooring to redoing your kitchen or master bath, you can save a lot of money doing things yourself if you are handy with tools and have patience.
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4. Eating Out Less
In the days before this pandemic, it was not uncommon for working couples to either get away from work for a quick or head out to dinner because neither wanted to cook. Frequent eating out often resulted in being a large portion of a couple’s weekly expense.
The best way to save some significant cash is to scale back on those dining trips. Instead of five times a week for lunch and three or four times a week on take-out or delivery, try once every other week, or even better, one time a month.
Yes, it will mean more time spent in the kitchen, but remember, the world has dramatically shifted the way we live, and we need to adjust accordingly. Besides, you might discover your inner chef and produce some fantastic meals that you’d never cooked yourself.
5. Plan Your Meals
Since we’re on the topic of meals, planning them ahead of time is a classic way to put a little more money back into your savings account.
Create a meal planner for each week, then look at everything you have in the fridge or pantry to determine what you will need to cook the meals.
Your shopping or grocery list should only detail what you need to cook those meals, which means no more impulse buying at the grocery store.
Another great feature of planning your meals is that you can better manage your spending at the store. No longer will you suffer sticker shock at the register because your initial spending estimate will be very close to the amount spent.
Saving money by planning your meals is a slam dunk if you stick to your list and don’t spend all your time in the candy or chips and snack aisle.
6. Stay Close to the 50/15/5 Rule
The 50/15/5 rule is simple and yet, for many, one of the most difficult to follow. In basic terms, it means allocating fifty percent of your income to the essential needs, putting back fifteen percent for retirement, and holding back five percent for short-term savings.
You don’t need to be a math genius to understand that there’s still thirty percent of your income not covered in the 50/15/5 rule. The remaining thirty percent is yours to use however you want. You can put it back in savings. You can spend it on take-out dining or one of those do-it-yourself projects. Whatever you want to do with it, you can.
Here’s a suggestion if you are really into saving your money. Look at your credit cards. How high are the charged balances? How much are the interest rates?
Because this pandemic has changed the way we live and our spending habits, now is the best time to pay the balances down to zero. Yes, it will take some time, but you are saving money big time because you aren’t making payments to your credit card company, and the company isn’t tacking on interest.
7. End on a Positive
Many of us discover we must improvise, adapt, and overcome the obstacles thrown at us during these pandemic times. Even though money was tight before and saving money was difficult, it’s probably one of the best things you can do for yourself now.
Eating out less, doing your projects, and making fewer trips to the gas station and cleaners are just a few things you can do. These savings methods are just the tip of the iceberg for saving money during the pandemic.
When we all come out on the other side of this, the whole point is that you will want to end up on a positive note as far as your financial picture is concerned.