One major consequence of the COVID pandemic is that many people are left worrying about their financial stability. Those facing a drop in income due to job loss or reduced hours may be left wondering how they will pay their bills. Although, we don’t have a perfect solution we wanted to share some practical tips that you can put into place now to help you pay your bills, rebuild your savings, or even cut out debt. Even if you can put some of these practices in place temporarily you will definitely see the money add up.
- Cut down on groceries, Skip the Coffee Shop, Pack Lunch, or Eat at Home—plan meals ahead of time and only buy what you need for that week. Focus on cheaper meals such as those involving potatoes, beans, or rice. Buying generic will also help.
- Cut ties with cable and automatic monthly subscriptions or memberships—Antennas are a cheap option that will allow you access to the basic channels. You may consider sharing a membership with a friend or family for a streaming service. Stopping subscriptions to monthly “boxes” is also a good idea. Make sure to check any services that are on auto renewal and assess if they are really needed.
- Pay Off Debt and Put “Extra” Money Wisely—Anytime you receive a bonus, tax refund, relief check, etc. a good idea is to pay off debt! It’s easy to treat yourself but saying goodbye to debt makes more financial sense since you can now use the extra dollars saved in interest to build an emergency fund.
- Reduce energy costs—Making a few tweaks at home you can save money each month. Some simple things you can do are shorter showers, fixing leaky pipes, wash clothes in cold water, LED lightbulbs.
- Unsubscribe from Emails—this may seem silly but the temptation is real and good deals are hard to pass up even when you don’t “need” it. Out of sight, out of mind!
- Borrow, Don’t Buy and DIY Everything!—family, friends, and neighbors are a great resource and usually willing to share. Also, there are so many great how-to videos online for projects you may be considering.
- Sell Items Lying Around Your House—There are many ways to sell unused items including Facebook Marketplace, Garage Sales/Sites, Poshmark, or other apps.
- Ask for Discounts! – Don’t be afraid to ask, you never know.