The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the United States and global economies. In short, the pandemic has financial experts and investors believing that future managers are now living through what is rapidly becoming the deepest downturn since World War II.
With unemployment claims continuing to surge and large corporations now having to lay off or furlough their employees, more and more people are becoming rightfully concerned about the future of their family’s financial health.
Finding the right budgeting tools to help you navigate the inevitable recession will help you gain better insights into your overall financial situation. However, reducing your spending is one fast, (somewhat) easy way to save cash during the coronavirus crisis. Here are five unique ways to reduce your spending and save more money.
1. Track Your Spending
Okay, so this first one might sound a little obvious. But, it’s hard to reduce your spending if you’re not already tracking it. Download a free finance app like Mint or YNAB that will allow you to not only track your spending but that will also help you analyze which categories you’re spending the most in. Most of these kinds of budgeting apps will allow you to do additional things that help you decrease your spending, such as setting limits or easily cancel subscriptions and other additional services from one simple platform.
2. Cancel Subscriptions
Speaking of canceling subscriptions, do that now! As you’re home nearly all of the time now, it’s a good chance for you to really sit down and see just how many recurring bills you’re receiving for subscriptions you either don’t use or didn’t even know you were signed up for. One study showed that people spend an average of $237.33 per month on subscriptions, which is $2,847.96 per year. By canceling subscriptions and engaging in other activities, think about what you could do with that nearly $3,000 per year.
3. Go Cash-Only
As we all engage in social distancing and self-isolation, we’re spending a lot more money online. Just last week, in fact, reports showed that the number of online orders for online retailers was up 52% year over year in the United States and Canada for the 2 weeks of March 22 through April 4. And, while you should certainly continue to stay home and avoid going out for unnecessary purchases, if you are going to head out for essential purchases, try going cash-only. This is a spending technique that will ensure you’re effectively managing your expenses without going over what your budget allows. For example, if you need to get groceries at Walmart, only take $200 with you and leave your cards at home. You’ll be unable to go over your spending limit that way.
4. Invest in Energy-Efficient Spaces
As we move into the summer months, it might feel a bit unrealistic to completely cut back on the amount of air conditioning you’re about to use. And, seeing as we’re all under quarantine at home, you’ll likely find that your monthly energy bill will increase in the next month or two. However, if you invest in energy-efficient spaces, you can not only keep your bill low but perhaps even reduce it to less than it normally is. Replace your light bulbs with LEDs to save nearly $20 and then follow this Department of Energy guide to reduce your energy bill by about 20% every month.
5. Buy in Bulk
Definitely don’t go out and panic buy toilet paper or Clorox wipes. But, buying in bulk can be a great strategy for reducing your spending during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. However, when you’re under lockdown, it’s actually one of the best times to buy in bulk because you should only be getting out about once a week or less to purchase essential items from the store. So, figure out what you need and purchase it in bulk from somewhere like Costco, Walmart or even Amazon. US News notes that if you save 10 cents on something you use daily, that's $36.50 in savings per year. Now, multiply that by however many other items you use on a daily basis like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent.
Enhancing Your Savings During a Pandemic
Still having trouble reducing your spending? Take a look at our tips on How to Save During a Crisis. Then, think about signing up for the Cheese Debit Card. It’s one of the easiest ways to save a lot, or at least a little, during this pandemic. While it won’t help you necessarily reduce spending, it does help you save extra cash, which means that you don’t have to reduce spending as much.
And, the best part is that it requires that you do absolutely nothing aside from signing up. With 0 banking fee, your FDIC-insured Cheese Debit Card can earn you a lot by cashback and saving bonus. Saving money doesn’t get easier than that.
Interested in learning more? Sign up today.