There’s no question that the recent pandemic has made us all a little apprehensive about our finances. After all, most of us are living paycheck to paycheck or waiting on unemployment and/or government funding assistance. This means that we don’t have much of an emergency fund that we can dip into when our income decreases or we stop being paid altogether. If you’re looking for some tips to help you save as much money as possible to make ends meet, here are some tips to help you out.
Tips to help save money during a recession or pandemic
1 – Get a real feel for your budget
Most of us have a good sense of our month to month budget, but the first thing to do is make sure that you have a solid idea of how much you need to spend in a month. Right now, this includes only the fixed expenses such as rent or a mortgage, loan minimums, insurance premiums, utilities charges such as power and water and then of course the essentials like food. While intimidating, it’s the first step to taking charge.
2 – Adjust your spending to match your decrease in income
Once you’ve got the budget made and then a budget of all income coming in, do what you can to reduce your flexible expenses (groceries, satellite, internet or phone, etc) to match the reduction of the income that you are experiencing. While it might not be possible to get it entirely even, get it as close as you possibly can. For example: can you get by with Netflix and cut your satellite or cable package? Plus, you know those companies offer good promo specials to get you in the door! lol
Since most of us aren’t eating out any more thanks to stay at home orders, do you really need to budget $100+ for eating out or takeout? Can you consider cancelling your gym membership and switch to an at-home program instead at least until the order is up? Keep in mind that during this pandemic, many local gyms are already offering some sort of concessions because they don’t want you to leave. However, these all add up in a hurry and can make the difference you need.
3 – Consider bundling your insurances together
Now that you’ve got that under control, you can consider looking at those fixed expenses again, especially insurance premiums. Make sure that you are bundling together your home and auto policies properly, including boat use, off-road vehicle and even recreational vehicles so that you are getting maximum savings for all policies that you have.
4 – Check that you’re using the right insurance policy to maximize savings
Similarly, check with your insurance broker to see if you are using the most affordable insurance plans out there for your insurance needs. Sometimes simply taking a look at the similar options will help you to ensure that you’ve got maximum savings built into your current policies. The best news is that you don’t need to wait for your renewal date to shop around. Go ahead and do it now.
Even though it’s tempting to defer payments for your mortgage, credit card debt or even your insurance premiums — and some are offering this service to help take the strain off — be careful how you approach this. The payment is still going to be due, and it often will be due all at once and often with fees, maybe interest or other hidden costs. If you have the means to continue to pay it monthly, it may be in your favor to continue paying as normal even if you aren’t driving as much.
Saving money isn’t about cutting huge expenses. It’s about scrimping and saving here and there to make ends meet during this challenging time.
We here at Paula Smith Insurance want you to be insured but also to help save you money now and at any time. Contact us for a free bundle quote at (281) 488-8880 and let’s see if we can save you some money.