As the pandemic sweeps through the nation and the entire world, it is a good time to pause and find ways to downgrade your lifestyle. This is because it has a direct correlation with your ability to stretch your budget while the nation deals with the health crisis. A lot of companies and businesses are struggling to operate in the middle of this problem and you need to prepare for it.
There are businesses considered to be delivering essential services that are still operating even with the health crisis. They might see some slowdown with the number of people who will report for work but operations continue. If you are part of this industry, your income might not be affected all that much. However, this does not mean that you will not prepare for rainy days.
If you do not belong to the essential industries, you might find it more pressing to downgrade your lifestyle. This is because your income might have already been affected by the pandemic. At best, your hours could have gone down or worse, you are on forced leave until things go back to normal. You suddenly find your finances in a tight spot.
When this happens, you begin to worry about where you will get the money to pay for all your bills at home. ABC News shares that as a lot of people are losing their jobs, they still have bills to pay. You have debt obligations to worry about as well such as mortgage or rent payment, car loan payments, student loan payments, and even credit card debt. You then look for ways to start saving money and this is where your lifestyle comes in. Here are a few things you can do to help you with your finances.
Learn how to cook meals at home
One of the ways to help you downgrade your lifestyle is to cut down on ordering take-out or ordering food delivery. This can come in handy as CNBC shares that some people use their stimulus checks to order take out food. In the past, you might not have enough time to buy ingredients and cook for your family. However, this health crisis has forced a lot of people to shelter in place and you suddenly have a lot of time on your hands.
As you try and prepare and cook meals for your family, there are a few tips to consider which can help you cut down on costs as well. For one, it would be a good idea to bulk buy the items and ingredients you need a lot of. Not only will this limit your travel to and from the store which saves you time and gas, it usually comes out less expensive when you buy in bulk
It would also be a good idea to start investing a little more time in finding coupons you can use when you go out to buy groceries. There are a lot of them you can find online or even in grocery aisles you tear off. Making the most out of these coupons can help you lower food costs. One important benefit of cooking meals at home is that you get the chance to provide healthy meals for your family, This is important as this health crisis drags on.
Give up one car if you can
If you are trying to identify ways to help you downgrade your lifestyle, you can look at your car situation at home. If you and your partner both work, there is a good chance that you have two cars at home. With a lot of states asking their residents to shelter in place, you would find your vehicles parked idly in your garage for weeks now.
You might not find a lot of need for your cars now that you are sheltering in place or working reduced hours. It might make sense to let go of one vehicle and work your schedules around so you can maximize one car. When you do this, you will free up a lot of expenses in your budget. It starts with your car loan payments or gas expenses or even insurance for the car.
If you can sell your vehicle for a good price, it can also add to your emergency fund at the moment. This will be a big boost to your fund especially if you were let go at work. It could tide you over for a few months to cover for your essential expenses. This can also help you focus on replacing your income so you can put your finances back on track.
Club memberships can take a break
If you want to downgrade your lifestyle during this pandemic, you might want to take a look at your social club memberships and freeze them for the meantime. One good example is your gym membership. In fact, a lot of gyms closed their branches since mid-March to heed the call of physical distancing to fight off the virus.
However, there are some clubs that would require you to send in a formal request for them to freeze your account. If not, you might find that you got charged for your gym membership for the month. It might not be much but at the moment, every little bit helps. It might also take you a long time trying to get that charge reversed since their operations are skeletal at best.
While you are at it, take a look at other recurring charges on your card and figure out if there are any more you can discontinue at the moment. You might have not realized it but you could have upgraded a few subscriptions and added a few more just so you have options. It is time to scale down and maybe focus on one music streaming service or one movie streaming app.
How to downgrade your lifestyle but earn extra money
Now that you have a few ideas on how you can adjust your lifestyle to help you save money during this health crisis, there are a couple of ways to increase your income. This can come in very handy when you are starting to run on a tight budget.
Declutter and sell unused items at home
One idea is to start selling items at home which you rarely use anymore. These can be items from an old hobby you never picked up again. It is possible that you accumulated a lot of stuff from trying out a hobby that is just in a box collecting dust. You can sell these things online so you declutter your house and even earn a little extra money along the way.
Have your hobbies pay you
One of the best things you can do at the moment is to identify ways how you can use your hobbies to earn extra money. As you adjust your lifestyle down, it is possible that you would have more time on your hands. This is true especially if you working fewer hours because of the health crisis due to the novel coronavirus.
A good way to use that extra time you have on your hands at the moment is to focus on your hobbies and find ways to earn money from it. This would take a lot of creativity on your part especially during this trying time. Explore how technology can play a part in this venture. If your hobby is playing the guitar or even baking, you can maybe give online lessons for other people or selling baked goods online.
It is tough to try and downgrade your lifestyle but it can help your finances when your income is negatively affected by this health crisis.