If you’ve been stressed or concerned about your finances during social distancing caused by COVID-19, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, a solid chunk of people have had to close down their businesses, lost their jobs, or had to give up freelancing gigs. And considering that we don’t actually know how long this will go on for, becoming frugal with your money now could be helpful.
Saving Some $$$
- Take advantage of aid programs. Aside from the individual checks that we hope to see soon, if you’ve been someone affected by job loss, apply for unemployment. Federal loans have hit the pause button on payments and interest for now, but not too much has been said for private loans. It’s completely worth a shot to call your bank and see if their policies have changed during this time.
- Save on water. Take shorter showers. Don’t leave the water running when you brush your teeth. Some people may already be practicing saving money this way, but it doesn’t hurt to focus more on these things. Another way to save on water would be to wash dishes by hand. Avoid using large appliances that use more water than “necessary”. For example, the dishwasher and the laundry machines. When dealing with laundry, wait until you have full loads every time.
- Save on electricity. Here’s the obvious one: don’t leave lights on in rooms that aren’t occupied. Do as much as you can during the day when natural light is available. You could also unplug devices when they’re not being used, or use a power strip to more effectively distribute energy.
- Save on groceries. **resist the urge to panic shop** for the sake of your budget and the sake of others (who also need food and supplies). Try planning out meals for two weeks at a time. This way, you can make sure you’re buying only what you need. Avoiding excess shopping will reduce wasteful spending.
- Workout from home. Most gyms paused most memberships, but this could be a great time to figure out if you actually need the gym to stay in shape. At home workouts on YouTube or homemade workout plans are about to be your best friend!
- Compare prices for EVERYTHING. Before purchasing anything, you should do yourself a favor and see if you can find it cheaper elsewhere. Whether that be done for food, hygiene products, or any other necessity, every penny counts!
- Avoid unnecessary shopping like eating out, drinks, online shopping. This one’s the kicker. Eating out adds up, buying drinks will add up, and lord knows online shopping adds up. Most places have created these insane discounts or deals to try to tempt us into spending money, but you have to think long-term. You don’t need sushi takeout once a week anymore. You don’t need that case of beer. And you definitely don’t need four new pairs of shoes and cute summer clothes. The time will come for those things, but for now, you have to put your needs over your wants.
Written by GUADS staff member Toni