In 2020, many of us learned that pandemics are expensive and financially draining. The prices of regular household items skyrocketed, we paid more to have our groceries delivered to our homes, and we signed up for services to make our lives more comfortable. On top of that, some of us lost our jobs and incurred unexpected medical bills. That’s why we’ve put together these tips for saving money in 2021.
Before we go any further, this isn’t about padding your savings account. If you can do that right now, it’s definitely a good idea. Unfortunately, many aren’t in a position to put anything aside. This quick article is about finding ways to cut down on monthly costs so that we can breathe a little easier until this pandemic improves.
Credit Card Relief
In the best of times, credit card payments can be hard to manage, but it’s become even more difficult during this pandemic. People are buried beneath high-interest rates and mounting debt. When you’re already struggling to make ends meet, these bills are devastating.
The good news is that many credit card companies are offering some sort of assistance to customers. Some may allow you to skip a couple of payments, while others are lowering interest rates. Credit Karma has a useful article about the types of pandemic relief options that may be available to you.
How many services did you sign up for in hopes of making life more bearable during quarantine? As a society, we’ve depended on grocery delivery apps, streaming services, cable, educational apps, audiobooks, and more to put food on our tables and hope in our hearts.
Have you reviewed all of those subscriptions recently? Do you know where your income is going? Did you sign up for a language-learning service and abandon it months ago? Take some time and look through your financial statements to see where you can unsubscribe and save money.
Do you plan your meals in advance or do you wait until the last minute? If you’ve been doing the latter, you might be spending more on food. That’s especially true if you end up resorting to take-out or quick delivery items to fill in the gaps.
Make a list of all of the meals you feel comfortable preparing and keep this someplace handy so that you can use it every week. Schedule the things that are easiest to make on weekdays, and save the meals that take more effort for the weekend. Planning meals at least a week in advance can help you avoid spending on takeout and help you stick to a budget.
How often are you doing groceries? If you’re shopping multiple times a week, you’re spending more on gas or delivery charges/tips. Plus, you might be buying more than you actually need. Again, if you have a meal plan, then you should be able to shop once a week.
Before placing an order, check your pantry to make sure you don’t already have something you’re about to buy. Also, look for sales and stock up on items you use regularly. If you’re shopping in-store, go with a grocery list to avoid spending mindlessly. Those impulse buys can really add up!
It’s time to break out your car insurance policy and look for ways to save. After the year we’ve had, many of us are working from home which means we may not need as much coverage. You may also qualify for a “good driver” discount for going a year without penalties.
There are many websites and tools you can use to look for better prices on auto insurance, so set aside a few minutes to check it out. You can also contact your existing insurer and see if they are offering new types of policies or reduced rates.