A month ago, nearly everyone would doubt you if you declared that the world will eventually all work at home.
Yet here we are.
Just a few short weeks later, with everybody instantly converted to telecommuting.
The world changed overnight. How are you coping?
Are you going crazy trying to be an unqualified school teacher with many kids in the house these days? Or do you feel lonely with the sudden lack of social interaction?
Are you glued to the constant news about coronavirus and the stock market? Or are you too busy trying to look for another job because you were recently let go?
No matter your circumstances, everybody can use a bit more money in their pockets right now.
And while increasing income is likely out of the question for practically all of the world’s population, we can always work on reducing our expenses.
Here is a reminder of some common sense but very effective ways you can save some money starting today.
1. Get rid of your gym membership.
Seriously. I still know people who’ve never gone to a gym since they signed up but are paying the ridiculous monthly fees.
The country is on lockdown, and the gym isn’t even open!
Tell them they need to suspend payments, or just quit. If you have $30 extra every month, throw some my way, wouldya?
2. In fact, get rid of all recurring costs.
Yes, I said all of them.
Are there any clubs you belong to that are still charging you when they are shut down? What about that massage membership you can no longer take advantage of?
Ask for a refund, because they actually have no idea when they can provide the service or goods to you either. There’s plenty of time to sign up again in the future. This is not the time to procrastinate.
3. Don’t call your internet provider asking for an upgrade to pay more.
You just don’t need to download everything faster when you have so much more downtime these days.
Instead, call your internet provider and ask for a discount. There are plenty of new customer deals they can hook you up with, and the deals are actually extra juicy these days because so many people are looking at their broadband services.
Guess what I will be doing in 11 and a half months? Call again, of course.
4. And while you are on the phone, resist the temptation for bundle packages.
Instead, get rid of your TV plan. After all, there are no more live sports anymore.
How can you justify paying $50 or even $100 a month, every month just to have the TV playing in the background all day?
5. Cancel your travel reservations and get your money back.
Hopefully the wait times are somewhat shorter now that we are a few weeks into this pandemic, but it’s time to cancel your travel plans.
No matter how secure you feel your job is right now, you need to have cash on hand in case the economy turns worse than expected and companies start mass layoffs. You just never know.
Nearly every airline and hotel is offering full refunds on even non-refundable bookings and making pretty much all new bookings refundable.
This means that even if your travel plans are months down the road, you should at least cancel and re-book the same itinerary in order to change your reservation to a fully refundable booking.
Do double check, but I highly doubt that the price now is higher than when you first reserved your spot. You could even be able to save some money with the same reservation.
6. Shop around for a new cell phone provider
And now that you don’t need your cell phone as much, to see if you can save some money.
Our family uses Ting, which costs us between $40 to $65 a month for two phones depending on how much we use the devices. The beauty is that when we travel internationally and basically don’t use our phones at all, our monthly bill is lowered too.
And now that we are home practically all the time, I expect the bill to go way down since we won’t be surfing on the web using cell data.
Plus, I am saving at least $40 a month even at the high range from when I was using AT&T as my provider and paying $100+ every month.
There are many cell phone provider alternatives. Pick one and save some money. You can keep your number too so there’s really no risk in at least trying.
7. You don’t have to do anything at all to save with some expenses.
The final tip is the best one yet, because my cell phone bill will naturally go down, while other people would be able to save on dry cleaning costs. At the very least, everybody will pay much less on gas this month and next.
Entertainment and eating out expenses will likely plummet too, since nothing is open when your state is asking everyone to shelter in place.
With a sizable portion of the country on lockdown, there’s real fear that mass layoffs are going to hit the country. Report after report is predicting that unemployment will skyrocket in the coming weeks.
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