Working from home, if you’re working at all, only being allowed to make essential trips and avoiding anyone who doesn’t live with you is what quarantine is about. However, during these times of uncertainty, it can be hard to determine what your finances are going to look like from day today. If you are still working, you are lucky, but many are not working and drawing on government help or work emergency benefits.
No matter what situation you are in, chances are your finances are taking a beating with more electrical use at home on your i9 laptops or Chromebooks, more people eating the food in the fridge all day long, and more boredom online shopping.
What you need is a way to cut the budget.
5 Must-know Tips to Cut the Budget During Quarantine
Trying to juggle your day to day expenses is harder during quarantines, especially if you don’t know what money you will have coming in from one day to the next. Have a look at these tips to help you cut the budget during the quarantine.
1. Home Electronics
Whether you are using a gaming laptop or a smart TV, there are ways you can help reduce electrical costs. The first thing you want to do is turn off all electronics when not in use. Don’t just let your TV or your laptop go to sleep mode while you go out for a long walk. Make sure to turn them completely off so that they aren’t sapping power when not in use.
There are plenty of smart home products that you may have at home if you are tech-savvy. Things like a smart thermostat and smart lights are ways to help reduce your day to day costs. Technology can be your best friend during times of financial uncertainty.
2. Reduce Grocery Bills
You can reduce the amount of money you spend on groceries in a few different ways. One of those ways is by clipping coupons and comparing flyers for savings. Furthermore, if you have price matching where you are, make use of it. There are many places online where you can print coupons or get cash back for shopping for things you would buy anyway.
Another way to cut the grocery bill is by avoiding name brand items and instead choosing the same products but the generic version. Look for sales on items that you use frequently and make sure to use everything in your cabinet, fridge, and freezer before you head out to buy more groceries.
3. Accept the New Normal
A new normal is probably what is on the horizon in the midst of the quarantine. The sooner you accept that and learn to live with it, the easier it will be to adjust your budget. For now, you are adjusting your budget according to lockdown. However, that may not always be the case.
You may be faced with a new normal, which means that you should plan your budget as though it isn’t going to change. It’s incredible where you can find savings when you think long-term instead of short term. Take the time to evaluate what you want your new routine to look like.
4. Cut Back
One thing people are learning during quarantine is how to live without eating out all the time—no spending money at the movies or browsing through the malls. Therefore, you now have a chance to figure out where to cut back on your spending.
Do you really need what you are planning to order from your favorite store? Think carefully before you make frivolous purchases and try to determine if it is essential. The extra money from the formerly “entertainment” budget can be redirected in positive ways that don’t include spending it on frivolous things because that’s what you’ve always done.
If you are struggling to make ends meet, don’t be a martyr. If your government or agencies are offering help during these trying times, accept it. Don’t see it as you are a charity case, but rather accept that help is there for you to take.
Many governments are offering wage subsidies or are helping with child-related costs as kids aren’t in school. Dig around and find out what benefits are available to you so that you can accept the help and use it to help you keep on top of your expenses and budget.
Quarantine is hard on everyone. If you are temporarily not working, working reduced hours, working from home, or a mix of them all, you may be suffering financially, especially if you have kids at home and can’t seem to work at all because schools are out and daycares are shut down.
There are ways you can cut your budget and save some money that can help you get through these rough times. Make sure to make use of these tips to help you out. Most especially, accept help from the government, your workplace, or anywhere else when needed.
We will get through this.