May 07, 2021

Published Friday, May 07, 2021 with 0 comment

Pandemic Lessons – How To Save Money

A crazy roller-coaster of a year, the pandemic’s changed the way we live. People have had immense impact, and quite honestly, like any other adversity this one’s had its silver lining too. The pandemic brought in a perspective which helped people take stock of their lives and straighten their priorities. Most people got their health routines sorted, some quit the job that sickened them, others got their love life resolved whether it was moving in, marrying or quitting a relationship. Anxiety brought in openness to talk and the need to practice mindfulness. Some took up yoga, others resolved to cycling or walking to work. Some realized the value of their relationships, and some got in touch with their own inner selves.

While in the mayhem of it all, people learnt life lessons, and made resolves to lead better, fulfilling lives. If saving money was one of your resolves and you are not sure how to get started, here’s the ultimate list of to-dos.

Let’s get you started.

1.      Get rid of debt as fast as you can. For getting you what you can’t afford up-front, you are paying a heavy price, literally. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy what you can’t afford, but since you are going to be paying such a heavy price, work the math is it worth it? For instance, compare paying rent versus paying mortgage. There’s a fair chance paying mortgage will win, but the same doesn’t apply to getting that fancy car, or the bigger television. If there are any debts that you already have, pay them off as soon as you can. Chalk out a payment plan, even if you have to stretch it a little.

2.      Save a little every time you spend. Whenever you buy something, put some percentage of the spends in a jar or in your savings account. This way, you cash flow might get affected, but you’ll have saved for the rainy day.

3.      Quit smoking or excessive drinking. Not only are those bad habits affecting your health (which by the way, is an expense too), they are burning a hole in your wallet too. If you are a chain smoker, you can save up to $3000 a year just by quitting smoking.

4.      Get an energy audit done by a professional company. They’ll suggest ways to optimize energy consumption which can save you a substantial amount over time. For instance, if you lower the thermostat on your heater by 10 degrees, you can save up to five percent on energy cost.

5.      Always make a shopping list before you buy, especially for the pantry or you’ll end up wasting money on food getting expired.

6.      Take road trips and camping holidays as compared to taking expensive flights and fancy hotels. Not only are these holidays a whole lot cheaper, but you’ll be surprised at how much more fun and destressing that can be. Additionally, you save so much on ancillary expenses like buying fancy clothes for the vacation, or packing your day with expensive activities. 

7.      Home cook your meals. If you feel you don’t have the time, start on a Sunday-prep routine. Prep your meals for the entire week and store it in the freezer. Invest in a deep freezer if you have to. In fact, if you can do this activity with a bunch of friends, you can buy ingredients in bulk packages and save even more. Investing in a slow cooker can be great too. Put all the ingredients in the morning before you leave for work, and come home to a hot, home cooked meal.

8.      Pack your lunch. Work the math, buying meals everyday can be a costly affair.

9.      Instead of dining out, make weekends special by doing something special at home. If cooking’s not on your list, get take-away which will still be cheaper than expensive in-restaurant dining.

10.  Take a stock of things in your house. Sell all that you haven’t used for a long time.

11.  Ask for a discount everywhere. What’s the worst, they’ll refuse one, it’s still worth the try. Remember, no ask, no get.

12.  Pay off your credit card debt in full every month. Credit cards are designed to rip you off your money. The heavy interest rates keep these companies interested in you. The smart way of using a credit card availing the credit limit till its interest-free, and paying it off as soon as they start charging interest.

13.  Do not shop on impulse. If you are tempted to buy something, keep that item waiting in your wish-list for 30 days. If after 30 days you still want that item, go for it. But if for some reason you changed your mind, you saved yourself some money. Now that’s a start.

14.  Instead of taking your children to the game zone or the mall, take them to the park, or to the beach, have a picnic, play and spend time as a family. Remember, the best things in life are free. Plus, you also get to teach your children to cherish simple pleasures.

15.  Keep yourself hydrated on water instead of juice or soda. Replace expensive sports drinks with home-made lemonade. It’s healthier too.

16.  Use leftover food. Wasting food is wasting money and wasting the environment. Now that’s a lot of wastage you’d want to avoid.

17.  Turn the lights off. Use LEDs. Keep appliances and gadgets switched off when not in use instead of keeping them on stand-by mode.

18.  Spend time in maintenance and up-keep of your appliances, gadgets and automobile. Get servicing done when it’s due. This way the life of your gadgets and appliances will be elongated and the chances of sudden break-down will be considerably reduced.

19.  Avoid hanging out at the mall or going window shopping. This triggers impulse buying.

20.  Cancel all memberships and subscriptions you no longer use or need. For instance, since we have mobile phones, a landline phone is not required, if you are an OTT streamer, like Netflix etc., you no longer need the cable connection.

21.  Consider used or refurbished instead of new. For gadgets, appliances, car, even clothes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see it isn’t really a compromise on the quality, but it considerably cheaper.

22.  Use public transportation. Even better, ride a bike or walk. So much healthier.

23.  When hosting dinner parties, consider potluck.

24.  Practice spend-fasting on a weekend, wherein you willfully refrain from spending money.

25.  Use coupons. Download GeoQpons app on your smart phone. Before you buy anything, check out the latest offers, discounts and deals available.





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