Are you looking for some ways to cut costs and save money during the pandemic?
Many of us have been financially affected by this worldwide crisis.
My husband’s job, which is a small business, shut down last week. I work part-time for three separate small businesses and only one is currently operating.
And while my husband was able to apply for unemployment, we aren’t sure how long it will be until we receive any money or how long he’ll be out of work.
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How I’m Saving Money Right Away
When we got word that my husband’s company was shutting down, I knew that we needed to reduce our expenses as quickly as possible. I did this a few years ago when we were paying off $40k of debt. Here are some of the ways I’ve reduced expenses this time around.
This was one of the first phone calls I made when I realized we were going to need to reduce costs. I’ve been meaning to ditch cable for a while because we barely ever use it. Especially since Disney+ became a thing. Cutting cable out of our life saved us $60 a month. If you’re still paying for cable along with multiple streaming services, this is a great way to save and not really sacrifice much.
Canceling Low-Cost Subscription Services
Next, I looked at my bank account for the past month and made a list of all recurring charges. Then, I decided which ones were worth keeping and which ones I would cancel. Here are some of the subscription services I canceled:
- Hulu (actually, I bundled this one with Disney+ to save 25%)
- Microsoft Office
- 131 Method Membership
All of these subscriptions were $7 to $10 per month. While that doesn’t seem like much, it adds up if you have several of them.
If you’re looking to cut costs during the pandemic, find where you are being automatically charged and cancel your memberships before you are charged again.
Temporarily Pausing Autoship Purchases
There are a few purchases I automatically make every month that I really enjoy. For example, I am a customer with Plexus (not an ambassador) and I receive a monthly shipment of probiotics that is automatically charged to my account every month.
I honestly LOVE these products but I have over a month’s supply right now, so I’m OK with putting it on pause for now. I can always re-purchase when I’m ready.
Saving on Food
I have also been looking for ways to save money on food during this time.
We are saving some money already with my husband being temporarily out of work. He is always out and about for his job, so he buys a lot of food on the go. Now that he’s home, our overall food expenses should be lower.
We have also been picking up free grab-and-go meals that our kids’ school district has been offering during their closure. I was surprised to hear that they were offering these to all students — not just ones who qualify for free meals — and it’s been a huge blessing to us.
As far as grocery shopping is concerned, I already save a ton of money every month by shopping at Aldi. If you haven’t discovered Aldi yet, you have to check it out! (And if they aren’t in your area yet, they might be soon!)
Temporary Changes to Diet
Both my husband and I usually follow a lower-carb diet and eat high-quality food. Although I still think it’s important to eat healthy right now, I’m willing to relax our standards a bit if it saves us money.
We will still be buying fruits and vegetables, but I’m not going to worry about eating low carb during this time. If I eat some pasta and some cereal, oh well.
Other Ways You Could Save Money Fast
- Cancel gym memberships
- Stop shopping online! (unless it’s necessary)
- Shop around for cheaper insurance rates
- Call your electricity supplier and ask for a better rate
- Call credit card companies and ask for a lower interest rate
Also, call your mortgage company or landlord if you’re worried about being late on payments. A few major lenders have announced that they are going to allow homeowners to defer mortgage payments and add them to the end of their loans.
My biggest recommendation here is to set up a budget!
Remember this quote by John Maxwell: “A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.”
A budget will help ensure you have enough money for necessities. Budget to cover your “four walls” first:
After those areas are covered, budget for your other important expenses. If you’re going to have trouble pay bills, get on the phone with those companies and let them know.
Oh, and while you’re at it…
Explore Money-Making Opportunities
If you’re currently laid off and need cash fast, consider applying for a temporary job. Companies like Amazon and Aldi have all announced that they are hiring furloughed workers.
You could also explore some work-at-home options. For some ideas, check out this post: 7 Work-At-Home Ideas for Busy Moms
A Note About Supporting Small Businesses
As we all know, many small businesses are struggling through this mess.
If you can afford to continue to support small businesses in your area, please do.
You could order takeout if your favorite restaurants are offering it. You could also purchase a gift card from almost any business and use it in the future.
In our area, many local shops are offering take-home activities for kids. For example, a local cupcake shop is selling decorating kits for home use. See what’s available in your area and support those you can!
If you’re like my family and need to keep your budget tight right now, remember to support those businesses once you’re back on your feet.
Together, we will get through this!