5 ways to save money during the COVID-19 pandemic

If you’re like everyone else, chances are you likely struggle to put some cash aside every month. Whether it’s coffee or eating out with friends and family, spending has become an intrinsic part of life.

With the COVID-19 pandemic in America showing no signs of slowing down and restrictions reintroduced in other nations, now is perhaps the best time to continue sheltering in place.

Spending habits

Even if you’re within a low-risk group, going out less will undoubtedly help you reduce your spending. Furthermore, with unemployment on the rise, prudent spending habits will be the order of the day.

Here, we take a look at how you can make the best out of this situation.

1. Learn how to cook

The conveniences of modern-day living have spoilt us to a ridiculous extent. 

Tired? Or just lazy?

Whip out your smartphone and within the hour a delivery person will be knocking on your door. 

All of these conveniences come at a cost - both financially and physically. From a financial standpoint, the ridiculous markups delivery services charge can turn a simple takeaway meal into an expensive affair.

Additionally, the excess quantities of fat, sugar and salt in these meals can take a toll on your health. In the long-term, you’ll find yourself having to spend hard-earned money to treat illnesses or health conditions caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.

Forget takeout, pick up a few cooking skills, and start preparing your own meals. As your skills improve, you’ll gain immense satisfaction, both in terms of money saved and delicious meals eaten.

2. Start working out at home

While gyms across America are reopening, the highly infectious nature of the Coronavirus have called for renewed protective measures. All of this means that your workouts will likely never be the same again.

Instead of paying good money for a watered-down experience, why not cancel your gym membership and work out at home.

For that to work, you’ll most obviously need to have equipment of some kind. Or do you?
Besides being free, body weight workouts are one of the most effective forms of exercise - they’re quick, convenience and burn plenty of fat.

With dozens of tutorials from content creators working out at home, you won’t even need to pay for a personal trainer.

All you need is an internet connection and a smart device. With body weight workouts, you can keep in shape for free and still have some extra cash saved up every month.

3. Thin out your subscriptions

If you haven’t performed an audit of your monthly expenses, now is perhaps the time.

Take a look at your streaming subscriptions and choose one. Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, make a choice and stick with only one. While you may be spending more time at home, there’s only so much TV you can watch.

As a rule of thumb, if you use a service less than 3 times in a month, then it has to go. People often forget that cash spent on subscriptions can add up when left unchecked.

After going through your subscriptions, perform another audit at the end of the month and see how much you’ve saved.

4. Go for supermarket brand products

Supermarket brand products aka private label products have it rough. Consumers write them off as being somehow inferior where in reality there is literally no difference in quality.

The fact is that private label and branded products are often manufactured by the same company. Supermarkets have strict QC procedures in place when it comes to private label products.

After all, they would only be shooting themselves in the foot if they sold horrible products that carried their brand name. The lower marketing costs allow supermarkets to sell them at a price as competitive as the MLB odds.

So, the next time you’re out shopping, skip the branded stuff and go with the supermarket brands.

5. Put aside extra cash

If you’ve carefully followed all of the above, you’ll likely find yourself enjoying a surplus every month. 

Store all extra cash aside and deposit it into a separate bank account - preferably an interest bearing one and leave it alone. This helps you get into the habit of saving money for a rainy day.

Even if things are looking rather uncertain, it’s no reason to not be financially prudent. With so much uncertainty, these habits will serve you well in the days to come.

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