The Covid-19 pandemic has affected every person in some way and one of the biggest ways is financial. We’ve all had to pause a bit before reaching for our wallets in this very unstable time. Luckily, we’re all in this together and Aspire Money has compiled effective ways you can save some money during this challenging time.
Start and stick to a budget
If you haven’t already, start a budget. Budgets are no longer about limiting yourself financially and not being able to enjoy your money it is the ability to jot down all of your expenses and assess where certain expenses can be cut down or limited going forward. Discipline in committing to your budget is key in challenging times such as these and while it may seem impossible to do, it most certainly will be rewarding in the long run. There are various resources online that can help with budgeting and useful advice from industry experts. Budgeting may seem like a scary term especially if you’ve never attempted it before but allow yourself to take the time to educate yourself on the basics and reap the rewards that are sure to follow.
Pause or cancel unused subscriptions
None of us likes to let go of something we’ve become accustomed to. If Covid-19 has taught us anything it’s how to be adaptable. Cancelling or pausing those unused memberships and subscriptions can go a long way in trying to save money during this time. Memberships such as gym or fitness plans, cinema loyalty clubs, and sporting associations are all examples of social gatherings that can be unstable and pose significant health risks during Covid-19. These can all be paused or cancelled accordingly. If you don’t want to cancel outright, speak to your respective clubs about your membership and ask if they can offer you a payment holiday or waiver your membership fee until they reopen.
This isn’t exclusive to social gatherings or public spaces, you should,think about any membership or subscription you don’t make use of and cancel or pause those too.
Avoid overspending and panic buying
We’ve seen it on the news or read about mass panic buying all over the world. It’s easy to get swept up and persuaded to do the same. Panic buying and overspending can hurt you financially so try to avoid this. Here are some helpful tips to avoid overspending:
- ● Plan your meals and grocery lists so you know exactly what you need as well as the quantity of each item
- ● Be resourceful with leftovers to avoid throwing out food. Think about ways you can reuse that leftover chicken for future meals
- ● Reach out to friends and family in a similar situation for useful tips on how they spend wisely, and slowly start incorporating this into your own thinking
- ● Be on the lookout for a good discount or bargain. Many stores are offering deals that can help you save during this time
Stay informed about what you’re entitled to
You can turn to advice on payments due to you from your employer and the government, that you need to claim for. There are benefits such as statutory sick pay, employment and support allowance, jobseekers' allowance, and personal independence payments that you may qualify for, so they’re worth looking into.
Many online resources offer vast amounts of information on benefits you may not be aware of, that you are entitled to. Turn2Us, Citizens Advice, Credit Unions, Money Service Advice or simply search for grants from a range of organisations. These resources provide helpful information on benefits you may qualify for and can help save you money.
Limit or avoid online shopping expenses
Easier said than done, right? But this is certainly achievable and remember may only be temporary until the economy stabilises, however, this is a good practice to implement to save money going forward. If online shopping is a necessity, build it into your budget. Keep track of how much you usually spend online shopping and start to incorporate this into your monthly budgets to avoid impulse purchases.
Make use of comparison sites
Making use of online resources readily available to us is one of the greatest advantages we have right now. Price comparison sites offer a very useful way to compare a range of daily needs, so you can ensure you are getting the best, most affordable price available. To take a common example of price comparison is to look at shopping around for a new or used car. We often look around quite a bit before settling on what makes the best financial sense for us. This same ideology can be implemented and extended to our daily lives and finding the best price on anything we may need.
Switch off unused electronics
It may seem like an obvious thing to do but switching off unused electronics around the house can go a long way toward saving money on your power bill every month. Make sure to check if you’ve switched off your devices or simply left them on standby. Set yourself reminders if you think you’ll forget to do this and start to slowly make this a daily habit. You’ll be sure to thank yourself once you see your next power bill!