At a time when the world seems like an uncertain place and everything around is at a halt, fear and public panic are common. When this happens, people tend to make choices that may not be the best because they’re either desperate or due to impulsive urges, especially when it comes to their finances.
During crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to stick within your means and build up your savings even when everything else seems to fall apart. This way, you get to feel a little less anxious about how to survive through trying times, especially when no one really knows how soon this will end or how worse it will get.
If there’s one thing you can do in times of crisis, it’s to prepare as much as you can for the future, such as its impact on your financial health. Take a look at some of the money hacks to help you create a safety net amidst a pandemic.
Break your shopping habit
Being stuck at home can leave you browsing through product pages of online retail stores. It may seem tempting to add items on your virtual cart to get ready for when the pandemic is over. Still, unnecessary spendings on beauty products, skincare, fitness tools and accessories, and other items only make it worse for your finances.
Nobody knows until how long this pandemic will last. It’s best to resist the urge to check-out and take control of your budget for more important expenses, as well as to save more money.
Build up your emergency fund
If you’re lucky enough to remain employed during a pandemic, it’s a good idea to pump up your emergency fund, setting aside a portion of your income to cover three to six months’ worth of essential expenses in case of a rainy day.
If you’re working from home, reallocate your commuting or transportations costs, lunch, and happy hour allowance toward your emergency fund. Moreover, since you’re on lockdown, use your restaurant, movies, and other leisure activities expenses into the fund, as well.
Keep it simple when grocery shopping
Create a list of the basic and essential items before you head out to shop for groceries. This way, you get to avoid impulsive purchases and putting unnecessary items into your cart. Cut back or get rid entirely of luxury grocery items that you can’t afford during a pandemic like expensive snacks and branded products that can be substituted with a low-priced alternative.
Keeping your list low-cost allows you to maintain a mindful living and a healthy pocket at the same time. Pro tip: plan out what you’re going to cook ahead of time so you know which ingredients to include in your list. Also, think about sticking with simple recipes for the moment and pick out recipes that require versatile ingredients you can use for different meals.
Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
A quick and easy way to save more money during difficult times is by canceling monthly subscriptions you don’t need, such as streaming services, gym memberships, and meal subscription services.
You don’t really have to get rid of all subscriptions, but if you’re paying for four different video streaming services, cut the others and keep only one or two. This can help free up some much-needed cash in the meantime to cover for groceries or your savings. Know that eliminating these subscriptions isn’t permanent, and you can always resubscribe later.
Prioritize your expenses
If you don’t prioritize your spendings, you’ll end up going through your emergency fund or savings quickly in a time of crisis. That’s why it’s essential to budget your finances to have enough cash for your necessary expenses: food, housing, and bills.
You can contact your lender, utility company, internet provider, and telco provider to discuss your payment options and if it’s possible to waive late fees. It never hurts to ask. When it comes to the food budget, it’s not the time to experiment on meals and spend on snacks or other food items you don’t normally eat. To help you save more, you need to know where your money goes.
Get gigs for extra income
People who find their jobs affected by the restrictions of social distancing and isolation to fight the pandemic are finding creative ways to make money online. You can always turn to gig work when you find yourself short on cash.
You can make money from home by studying stock market statistics and investing in stock trading. You can also venture into investing in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Other ways of making money also include taking online surveys, becoming an online tutor, and other freelance work like blogging, video editing, graphic design, social media management, and virtual assistant. At a time like this, it is vital to turn on your savvy hustling side to pull through and build enough savings to prepare for the foreseeable future.
Summing it up
Saving money during a pandemic as you isolate yourself from the outside world can be difficult. But, cutting costs here and there to build enough backup cash will benefit you in multiple ways. Think of the quarantine as an eye-opening opportunity for saving and building a better budget from home. Hopefully, the tips above can motivate you to keep it easy and create reserves.
About the Author
Adrian is a stock trading educator and the founder of Enlightened Stock Trading. He helps busy professionals achieve financial freedom sooner by creating profitable stock trading systems that suit their personality and lifestyle.