If you’ve been affected by COVID-19 due to unemployment or reduced hours (or even if you haven’t been affected in this way), it’s extremely important to focus on saving money and not spending money on items that are not absolutely necessary during this time.
Here is a list of suggested items you may want to consider cutting out during the Coronavirus pandemic:
- Subscriptions – You might be stuck at home, but if paying for a multitude of subscription services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and the like are strapping your monthly budget, it’s time to temporarily suspend them. Or, if there’s one you use more so than some others in particular – keep one subscription service you are actually using.
- Gym membership – More than likely your gym has been closed for the past two months, are you still paying for a facility you haven’t been able to use and may not be able to use for some time? See if you can have a hold placed on your membership, or if you can cancel and take advantage of exercising outdoors in the nice weather or utilizing free online workouts instead.
- Services you can DIY – If you’re home on a daily basis, are you still paying for a lawn mowing service or yard maintenance? If so, this might be something you want to consider tackling yourself to save on monthly bills. Plus – you’ll get to enjoy the sunlight and fresh air.
- Expensive cable packages – If you are paying for extra sports channels that aren’t even showing any sports right now because they’re cancelled, or premium channels like HBO and Showtime – call your cable company and temporarily suspend them. Anything you can do to make your bill less during this time is advisable. If you can cut out cable TV altogether and just pay for one streaming service, even better. Also, try not to order on-demand movies either during this time. That will continually make your monthly bill increase. Instead, see what free movies might be available.
- Non-essential food expenses – Cooking at home is a big money saver. If you are continually having food delivered or buying takeout for your meals, costs can really add up. If you can, try to cook your meals at home and only order takeout once in awhile for a special treat on a weekend.
- Shopping – While retail stores and malls are closed, you may instead be doing a lot of online shopping these days. Even if an online retailer is having a sale, is the item something you really need? Really evaluate all your expenses before you click “add to cart.”
- Driving around – You might be itching to get out of the house, but driving around and burning through gas is going to eventually add up. Unless you have to get in your car to go to work or to an essential business, walking or jogging outside on a nice day is a much cheaper option.
- Vacation fund contributions – If you’ve been saving money toward planning a trip, pause it for now. Since traveling is out of the question for the near future, put these contributions into an emergency savings account instead.
- Seasonal memberships – Take a look at what might be coming up that you won’t be able to participate in like usual (swim club, sports season, theme park, etc). Make sure you aren’t being automatically billed for events you won’t be able to partake in this spring and summer.
- Gifts – Since celebrations have been put on hold, take the funds you would have spent on them and put it in your emergency savings account.
- Bottled water – This is a nice to have, but definitely not a necessity. You’ll save a great deal more money by making a one-time purchase on a refillable filtered water pitcher.
By reducing expenses of non-essential items, you can increase the amount you save to make sure you’re still able to pay your bills or have some money in savings if you need it. The last thing you want to do in a financial environment like the current one we are in, is to put yourself in debt. Stay financially safe and healthy!
Article Source: Gabrielle Olya for Gobankingrates.com