Why do you need to save money now?
It is a difficult time for a lot of people with the health crisis going on. Businesses are closing down and several industries are all trying to adapt to the new normal. Employees are warming up to working from home while brick and mortar shops are feeling the pinch. Foot traffic in what once were busy places are almost non-existent.
People are all trying to stay home to try and limit their potential exposure to the virus by going out and interacting with people. This in itself has changed the dynamics of consumer behavior. It has jolted the economy so much that legislation had to be passed to help Americans with a stimulus check. And with unemployment reaching over 20 million at the end of May according to Pew Research, a lot of Americans are trying to make ends meet.
With all these happening at the height of the health crisis, times are tough. In almost all aspects of a person’s life, there will be heightened challenges. It is tough to manage your emotions with all the problems around you. Mental health could be put to the test. And even your finances will be going through rough waters. This is why it is important to save money now.
For one thing, there is still no cure in sight though there are numerous options being tested out. But actual cure has yet to be discovered. That being said, the stability you might have been used to in the past is still up in the air. What you can do for now is to put together a concreted plan to help you manage your finances as best as you can despite the situation.
There is no doubt that choosing to save money at this point in time will be a difficult task. Considering how the economic challenges can easily trickle down to your basic household finances. But it does not mean you cannot do anything about it anymore. It will be tough but you just need to be tougher. Here are a few things that can help you save money.
Cutting down transportation expenses
You can save money now with your transportation expenses if you are working from home. For one thing, you save with money associated with your travel to and from the office. If you take your own car, you save money at the pump. You also slow down the depreciation of your vehicle. In turn, maintenance can also go down.
Even if you take public transportation, working from home can help you save a lot of money. More than just saving money from the daily fare, you can also stay away from seemingly harmless daily expenses you make. Buying cups of signature coffee or heading out to your favorite restaurant for lunch and even snacks can put a dent on your budget without you knowing about it. When you are working from home, you do away with these small expenses and actually save money.
One big decision which could help you and your family save a lot of money now is selling one car if you have two or more. At this time, most people are asked to stay inside their homes. Most companies are putting a work-at-home system in place for their employees. This lessens the need to go out and drive. One less car can save you money from having to pay insurance, maintenance, and even gas.
Food expenses at home
You can also save money now at home when start looking into your food budget. It does not mean that you will cut down the amount of food you serve your family. Managing your food expenses means identifying ways to cut down on costs without sacrificing the nutrition your family needs. This is important as USA Today shares that food spending is a big expense for Americans. It seems impossible until you put your mind into it.
One way to save money with your food consumption at home is to reduce the amount that is wasted. This means that you have to plan your meals a little more meticulously. Once you do this, you will start paying more attention to your grocery list. When you buy with a plan, you know what you need and avoid making impulse purchases.
To help you manage your time in food preparation, you can prepare your meals in advance. When you need to eat you can just heat them up or put the ingredients together. You can also work your menu around meals with common ingredients so you can buy those in bulk. That can help you save money as well.
Entertainment expenses can be modified
One of the ways you can save money now is by looking at your entertainment expenses. There is a lot of room for movement in this expense item. On one end, it could be lower fro before since you cannot really go out and enjoy like in the past. But also, being stuck at home could make you put in more into this expense than before.
When you are at home, you could be tempted to subscribe to a few streaming services just to pass the time. You might even give in and start buying items related to your hobby. At the end of the month, you are surprised by what you have charged on your card. This is a good time to sit down and take a look at what you are paying for in entertainment expenses while sheltering in place.
There are activities you can do with your family that could help you save money. Rather than trying to book expensive trips at the moment, look for nearby places or even your backyard. Not only will it be cost-efficient, but you are also safer from the virus if you limit the travel. Try cooking or baking with the kids or stargazing at the backyard at night. There are a lot of activities you can do with the family that will not make a big dent on your finances.
It is important to save money now to help you stretch your finances during the pandemic. The more you can save, the bigger your reserve fund could be for when you need them the most. One of the areas you can save money on would be your clothing expenses. If you are working from home, you do not need to keep on purchasing clothe for work.
It still helps if you can change clothes into something other than what you slept in when starting with your work. But it does not mean you have to always buy the latest in fashion out there. Basic colors and layering can help you bring down your wardrobe expenses. Working from home allows you to wear comfortable clothes which brings down your clothing expenses.
There are a number of ways you can think of to help you save money now while the pandemic is still out there. When you save money, it helps you manage your finances better and stretch your income to cover more ground. You get to stay up to date with your payments and you get to buy the essential needs at home. This also can also give you the chance to stay on track with your short and long-term financial goals.