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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people in very different ways. Some have been able to thrive while staying home. They may cook more, engage in new hobbies, and work from home in a manner that ensures they are still financially sound. Others have had much more difficulty because of the loss of a job or other setbacks.
Regardless of your situation, you are probably trying to figure out how to save money during the pandemic. You might want to save money to build your emergency fund or retirement savings. Or perhaps you just want to save enough to ensure you can pay your bills on time.
Believe it or not, there are actually more ways to save money during the pandemic than there were before the pandemic. That’s because activities such as dining out, going to concerts, going on vacation have been eliminated. This has created more opportunities to save money rather than spend it.
But, no matter the situation, the first rule when learning how to save money is to create a budget.
Sit down and write a detailed list of all your expenses and your income. You’ll probably find that you are wasting money on a few things you don’t really need. If you change your spending habits, you can start saving money right away.
For example, maybe you are ordering too much takeout food. By shopping for groceries and cooking your own meals you can save a significant amount of money.
Or, perhaps you are subscribed to too many cable channels. You can save money by eliminating some streaming services or downgrading your cable package.
Creating and then examining your budget each month will help you to stay on top of your spending. When you see all the numbers laid out in front of you, it’s easier to decide to get rid of unnecessary expenditures.
As mentioned above, opting to cook your own meals instead of dining out or ordering takeout food can be great when learning how to save money. Shop smartly. The money you spend on one nice meal at a restaurant can buy you a week’s worth of groceries. And if you cook only what you need, you won’t waste food either.
Create a menu for the week. This way you won’t buy food unnecessarily. Cook meals that can last another night so you can enjoy the leftovers. You’ll find plenty of ideas for cost-conscious meal prep online. And with easy access to hundreds of thousands of recipes, you’ll never be bored with the same meal over and over.
Just as many banks have automatic bill payment features available for you, you can also automate a deposit from your paycheck into another account. This can be a great way to start a savings account without even having to do anything.
There are many apps available that also enable you to save money without you even thinking about it. They typically work by rounding up the change that is left over every time you make a purchase with a debit card. The change that is rounded up is deposited into an interest-earning account. If you use your debit card often, this can be a great way to figure out how to save money. Watch the savings build quickly.
If you’re at home more during the pandemic, you might find your home energy consumption increasing. This, of course, means higher bills. Be mindful of things such as keeping all the lights off in rooms you aren’t in. If you have dual-zone HVAC, you can also lower the heat or AC ib areas of the home you aren’t using for a while.
You can also seek to take advantage of reduced energy consumption programs offered by your local utility companies. Many companies offer incentives for residents to lower their energy usage during a particular part of the day.
Do what you can to lower your utility bills, and you’ll find more money in your pocket each month. Sometimes even just unplugging appliances that aren’t in use can save you some money. Switching to energy-efficient bulbs and appliances can also make a big difference.
Shopping for and cooking your own food was one way to learn how to save money during the pandemic. An even smarter way is to grow your own food. It doesn’t take much to start a decent garden full of herbs and vegetables. If you don’t have much space, you can have a container garden. You can even grow some herbs and vegetables inside with the aid of an inexpensive grow light if you don’t have a sunny window available.
Look for grow kits or good quality seeds online. You’ll also find a wealth of information on different garden ideas for gardens of all sizes.
These savings accounts earn more interest than regular savings accounts. If you have enough money to meet the minimum deposit and don’t think you’ll need to spend it anytime soon, open a high-yield savings account and start earning. The longer you can leave the money in the account, the more you will save.
There are, of course, plenty of other ways to figure out how to save money. However, the above tips should be enough to get you started on better spending and saving habits.