- Cut non-essential items and discretionary spending.
- Look for discounts and free trials.
- Explain your situation to landlords and creditors.
Need to cut expenses and save money, but not sure where should you start? Here are some quick tips:
Write down all of your essential and non-essential expenses and determine a new budget:
- It helps to see exactly how you are spending your money each week or month. You can do this on anything from a simple spreadsheet to downloading budget apps like these.
- From there, ask yourself: What can you live without? How can you lower the costs of some items to save money?
Evaluate your recurring subscription services:
- Consider canceling the entertainment services you don’t need or can do without for several months. In the interim, research companies and services that are offering free trials and/or new member discounts. Several streaming services, such as AcornTV, Sling TV, and VidAngel are offering promotions during this time of social distancing.
- However, it’s important to remember to read all applicable terms and conditions closely so that you aren’t surprised after the trial ends. It’s also helpful to set calendar reminders for yourself a few days out from when your trial ends to give yourself ample time to cancel in advance or consider continuing a subscription at its standard rate.
- While exercise is important to your overall health, you may want to cancel your gym membership and exercise at home via free, online classes. Many fitness organizations, such as Peloton, ObéFitness, ClassPass, Fitness Blender, YogaWorks, and more, are offering free trials. If you want to stick with your current gym, reach out and see if you can temporarily pause your membership or negotiate a lower fee.
Reconsider take-out or delivery and instead try cooking more meals at home
- For example, if you’re in the habit of visiting your local coffee shop for your morning coffee, try making coffee at home instead. According to Lifehack.org, making your own coffee can save you up to $80 per month. However, it’s also important to keep your favorite restaurants and coffee shops in business as well, so consider a healthy balance between the two. If you make a few extra meals per week at home as well as cutting down on coffee to go, you can still save money while supporting your local restaurants and coffee shops.
Look out for discounts, promotions, and lower-cost goods and services
- Revisit your insurance policies such as healthcare and auto insurance, as well as cable, internet, and cell phone contracts to potentially negotiate lower rates. Some companies are providing certain relief because of COVID-19.
- Oftentimes, supermarket brands are slightly more affordable than brand name products, so consider any alternatives to save where appropriate.
- Purchase generic over-the-counter (OTC) pharmacy products whenever possible. Generic or store-brand products usually have the same ingredients as name-brands, but they cost less. However, it’s always a good practice to read the list of both products to ensure they are identical.
- If you are impacted by COVID-19 and you’re concerned about making payments, landlords and creditors may be willing to work with you. However, don’t assume creditors will forgive you/waive fees or not report you if you can’t honor your payment schedule. You should contact creditors first and put an agreement in place so that a missed payment doesn’t negatively affect your credit score. Aim to also get any agreed-upon accommodations in writing.
In the meantime, Credit Sesame is a free valuable resource to help you monitor your credit and explore other credit options during these uncertain times.
Disclaimer: This blog article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as financial advice. Although reasonable efforts have been made, we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented.