COVID-19 has left several families scrambling to try and make ends meet because of not being able to earn their regular incomes. If you have been unfortunate enough to not be able to work over the past few months, the tips below could help ensure that you stretch each dollar as far as possible.
Don’t be Tempted by Sales
After lockdown is lifted, several retailers will most likely have a glut of stock that they need to move from their inventories. This will result in there being a number of sales that advertise along the lines of, “Once in a lifetime opportunity,” or “final clearance.”
Regardless of how good a deal seems to be on an item, resist purchasing it unless you can afford to cover its cost in full. Chances are that similar items will be sold at reduced prices later in the year again.
Households that were able to plan ahead by having an emergency fund to cover at least one to two months of expenses will experience less financial stress during this time.
Although you might be thinking that it’s counterintuitive to start saving now, this is not the case. Starting with a small amount such as $10 to $15 per week or $50 per month may not feel like a lot of money, but the truth is that it will add up over time and come in handy if you’re suddenly unable to earn an income again.
Cut Expenses wherever Possible
Most individuals are familiar with the standard ways of reducing expenses such as not purchasing new clothing, cutting back spending on takeout’s and restaurant meals, and not taking vacations. However, during these unpredictable times, your cost cutting may sometimes have to become a little more drastic until such time as you’re earning wages again.
While subscriptions such as Netflix Spotify may provide entertainment, you may need to consider cutting them for a few months. Any gaming group or other club memberships you may have should also be canceled, as they are not genuine necessities.
Repair and Repurpose
At a time when you’re receiving little to no income, the saying, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” can be a budget lifesaver.
Refrain from purchasing items until what you have has already been used up as much as possible. Don’t purchase clothing or shoes unless an existing item has genuinely worn out or been outgrown. If a clothing item has a small rip or other minor damage, consider repairing it before tossing it in the trash – several YouTube videos are available that can teach you the basics of clothing repair.
Drastically cutting your expenses during this time could make all the difference with regards to being able to pay your rent or mortgage and put food on the table for your family. While you and your family may feel deprived during this time due to decreased spending, keep in mind that these difficult times will eventually pass.