Like much of the world right now, you may be watching your bank account a little more warily than usual. You are probably looking for ways to cut costs on your daily expenses and to grow your savings account. The good news is there are many ways you can reduce your expenditures with some creativity and dedication.
1. Don’t turn to retail therapy when you’re bored. It may be tempting to buy items online while you are isolated, but going on an unchecked online shopping spree can quickly deplete your bank account. Instead of reaching for your debit card when you are feeling lonely, check in with a friend or family member.
2. While some restaurants are still open for takeout, the cost of eating out multiple times a week can add up quickly. Use this time to become experimental with your cooking. Websites like Supercook and MyFridgefood are designed to help you find recipes based on what you already have in your kitchen.
3. Inquire about discounts on the bills that you currently pay. You may be surprised to discover that discounts exist that you were unaware of. Many insurance companies shave off a few dollars a month if you enroll in autopay. New cellphone plans are always being created, so ask your phone service provider about updated plan rates.
4. Research ways to get out of debt. Getting out of debt in a strategic manner can help prevent you from going into debt in the future. Dave Ramsey’s website has numerous tips for reducing your debt efficiently and quickly, including advice like paying off small debts before bigger ones through his famous “debt snowball method.”
5. Buy store brand items when you can. It is easy to get in the habit of reaching for the same name brand products you always have, but make a conscious effort to look for cheaper options now. A lot of the time the quality is the same as much of the costs can go into packaging of products.
6. Discover new hobbies without spending money. Now is the perfect time to take a free online course for learning how to draw. Bring out the bicycle you’ve had stored in the shed for years and find some bike trails in your area. Read the books you’ve been meaning to read over the last few months.
Self-isolating can actually improve your finances as there are less places to go and spend money that you are trying to save. Review your bank account’s transaction history over the last few weeks and identify areas that you have been able to save money. Maybe you aren’t buying all the fast food you’re used to or that daily cup of coffee on every lunch break. Maybe you haven’t added to your wardrobe in the time that you’ve spent at home.
In these uncertain times, you can help yourself feel empowered over your finances by making subtle changes to your spending habits.