How To Save Money During Lockdown

The Lockdown And Money

For a lot of people the lockdown has had an impact on their finances. As a student I know that it is really difficult for students right now. A lot of international students are stuck in a country they may not want to be in right now, many have lost their jobs temporarily or permanently and many have had to pay for unforeseen expenses created due to the lockdown. And obviously it’s not just students. Many people in general have faced a decrease in their income and an increase in expenses at this time. Over the last few weeks I have been able to pick up some tips and tricks that can really help save money for everyone during the lockdown and even in general. I hope this helps everyone especially those who may be struggling financially at the moment. If this or anything in general about the lockdown is causing anyone anxiety or mental health problems and feel like you need someone to talk to feel free to reach out via email or social media all of which will be listed at the bottom of the post.

Meals

Eating is obviously a necessity, however, there are so many ways in which we may end up wasting a lot of money on food. To begin with, if you are trying to save money I would highly recommend cutting down on how much outside food you eat. I know ordering out or grabbing some fast food on your way to work or on your way home may seem easier but this habit can really end up wasting money if you aren’t careful and it may not be very healthy for you either. If you are interested in finding out just how much money you are spending on buying outside food or eating out (if that’s allowed in your area) you can use this brown bag savings calculator to calculate the exact amount. Having that number in front of you may surprise you. Instead I would highly recommend cooking at home whenever possible. If you feel like you may not be able to prepare everything and cook every single day try things like meal prepping, cooking in large batches when you have time and freezing some of it and buying ready to cook items so you don’t have to go through the trouble to preparing everything. You can also look for easy and quick recipes that you can make even when you don’t have a lot of time. You can check mine out by clicking here. 

You may also be paying too much for certain products. We all know, or at least I hope we all know, that all a lot of Ads may not be entirely honest about their products and a lot of times we end up buying brand names rather than items that we want. Instead you can try buying generic products which a lot of times offer the same product minus the brand name. I would highly recommend at least trying generic products with an open mind for a while because this can honestly help save a lot of money. If you aren’t sure how much you can save using generic /unbranded products you can use this generic product savings calculator to see just how much you can save.

Free Activities

A lot of people think that you need to spend a lot of money to have fun but the truth is a lot of times you really don’t need to spend a lot of money or any money at all to do something fun, try something new and make some amazing memories. I know that a lot of places are not open right now and a lot of activities- free and paid- have been cancelled and rightfully so of course. However, there are still some fun things you can do with friends and family that are free of charge or very affordable.

You can play online games together such as Scrabble. I know a lot of us are stuck at home for the majority of the time but this is a really fun way to stay busy and stay in ouch with friends and family. You can also do something creative like start a blog together, start a podcast, write a story together and so much more. This will get your creative juices flowing and will help you make some amazing memories together for free. If you are in the mood to learn something you can learn a language together on apps like Duolingo– learning a language with friends/family members following your progress and learning with you will encourage you to keep going even when you don’t feel motivated and make the whole experience a lot more fun.

Savings Goal

Saving money isn’t always as easy as people make it out to be. It takes a lot of hard work, time and a very strong will to save money. Having a savings goal can help make you more motivated to save money because you will have something you are working towards each week/month/year. Once you figure out the amount you want to save you can use a savings goal calculator to figure out how much you will need to save regularly to reach your goal. This way you can spend your money accordingly while keeping in mind that you have to save a certain amount every week/month/year.

Do I NEED This?

A lot of companies/brands have had major sales during the lockdown offering incredibly low prices to customers. If you buy things that are necessary than this can really work as an investment however a lot of times these low prices may tempt people into buying things they may not necessarily need. If you are someone that has a hard time with this and you know that you sometimes buy things you don’t need than I would highly recommend working on this. Of course it’s totally normal and natural to want to buy something you like and if you can afford to do so you should completely feel free to go ahead and do as much shopping as you like. However, if you are trying to save money I would highly recommend limiting your purchases to only essential items that you really need. It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while but know your limit. You can try using an oportunity cost calculator to figure out how much you spend on non-essential products and services. Once you see the total amount you can then adjust your spending accordingly to match your budget and savings goal.

Budget

Having a budget can do wonders for you. It can help you spend your money in the most wise way instead of spending too much on non-essential products and services and too little on essential items, it can help you save a certain amount of money in the short-run that you can then use accordingly, and it can help you save in the long-run for things like a rainy day, retirement and more. Having a budget is something that I always think is necessary for everything- as you may or may not remember I have talked about having a budget for blogging in one or two of my blogging advice posts as well. Budgets are particularly important during the lockdown because like I said a lot of people may have a change in the amount of income they are earning and compared to the new costs that have come up due to the lockdown. If you are not sure how to find a budget that works best for you/your family or you are like me and maths isn’t your strong suit try using a budget calculator. This will help you find something that works best for you and of course you can always tweak it a little to make it just right.

Thoughts

What are some of the ways you save money either in general or during the lockdown? Do you have a hard time saying no to non-essential items like I sometimes do? Do you meal prep or make food in advance and then freeze it? What is your easy and quick go-to recipe?


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98 thoughts on “How To Save Money During Lockdown

  1. I haven’t spent much money on myself since the pandemic started. One thing I did buy was Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s $80 CAD but I reasoned that the hours of entertainment I would get from it outweigh the cost. Also I used a $25 gift card towards it and topped it with a 15% coupon!

    I would like to get the Nintendo subscription to connect with players online (a feature that was free for the 3DS but costs $25/year for the switch 😑…) Luckily, I found a way to pay for it which I might write about in a future blog post. Right now, I am contemplating whether or not to get the subscription now or wait until a later time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think spending on yourself once in a while like you did is good because it keeps you happy and motivated. I’m glad you are able to stop yourself from buying too much non-essential stuff. I’ve tried very hard to not buy too much either.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For car insurance, some companies are offering a rebate if you’re not driving around that much.
    Stop buying coffee and Starbucks-it will save you a lot!
    Frequently check your accounts-there could be a mistake and you have got double charged or make you more aware of how much you’re spending.
    Reuse! Be more aware of how much you throw out and why you’re throwing it out.
    Value Village, Salvation Army, Thrift Shops have some clothes at incredible prices.
    Invest in a RRSP-you can get a tax break come April (Canada)
    Invest in a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account)-You will earn double interest than a high interest savings account in a bank (Canada)
    Cost vs Value- Does what you pay for give you the value of it? For example: I buy a 60$ video game and I played it for over 4 years. Well spent in my opinion. I bought a 75 dollar sweater I only wore once-not a good value so far. It varies in what you purchase but the principle keeps consistent.
    Book exchange with a family or friend in your circle so you’re not buying new books all the time! (Sanitize them or leave them in a bag for a day or two)
    Ask for help if you’re spending is out of control-it’s hard but everyone needs help someone. For credit cards, you can ask a loan advisor to help you make deferred payments, cancel payments, or rearrange the payments so you can do them in different chunks. It depends on the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips Pooja! I think free activities are truly great! I wrote a similar post here, in case you’d like to read it: thatgirlwhospeaks.wordpress.com/2020/07/01/jobsduringlockdown/
    Anyway, great post girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a lively sharing Pooja….not just for students but for everyone….nice to have or need to have….we spend so much on things we don’t even want in reality….but just because of their appeal, we’re willing to spend extra bucks…won’t you agree?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome….that’s true to a certain extent….I think it’s better to research yourself than rely on the ads as they never tell the 100% truth….well, their point is to sell, right? However good or excellent quality products can be found by using a bit time by doing your own research, which I know you do…Great sharing all in all…..

        Hey FYI, I have sent you an invitation to reconnect to my blog as a Follower. There has been some glitches with notifications. So I had to “remove you”. Pls check your mail & accept the invite if you would still like to follow my blog 🙏✨💛

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Budgeting is a critical component in terms of saving money at any time, not just during COVID. Knowing where your $ is going each week is key. We tend to be a society(although not all people) “that lives beyond its means.” Even a tiny bit saved each week can make a huge difference at the end of the year(s).

    So much really good advice in your post. There can be so much free stuff to do in our neighbourhoods or certainly close by that can really enrich our lives. Often we just need to look for it.

    I have nothing against places like Starbucks or other coffee joints like that. But, if you frequent them say once a day and spend for example $5 per visit; that’s $25 per week or $1,300 per year. It doesn’t sound like much at $5 per day. However, cutting back to two or three times per week, now saves you $520 to $780 a year.

    What could u do with an extra $750 in your pocket?

    It does take discipline though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree- budgeting is so essential even in general not just during lockdown. Having a specific amount that you can use each week/month really helps cut down on costs.
      I agree- I tend to make my own beverages/meals unless I absolutely don’t have time because like you said if you frequent coffee joints or even food places you end up spending a lot more than you realise and why waste all that when you could save it and spend it on something better.

      Like

  6. I think many don’t understand the issue of impulsive buying. One can buy 10 similar items for 10 dollars and use just 5 of them.That way one is wasting 50 dollars. However, an important item of 90 dollars might be considered too much bc it’s a lot of money on just one item rather than 10. Being specific with one’s need is the key.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah Internet data can be expensive for a lot of people and like you said when you first start out you need to be online and active a lot so it’s hard to cut down on that.

      Like

  7. Difficult times for many people – and I fear the consequences are going to last for many years to come!
    I’m glad I already have so much travelling done! Travel might be much more difficult now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I agree the consequences are going to last a while and travelling will be more complicated for a while. You’re really lucky you traveled a lot earlier!

      Like

    1. Yeah you don’t realise it at that time but when you calculate how much you spend on outside food it’s so much! I’ve been saving a lot by cooking the majority of my meals at home too and it really helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. We got really bad with cooking in lockdown, because of my husband;’s work and me blogging and trying to run a home, we were eating and terrible times and sometimes eating terrible things. Also, because our normal grocery deliveries are now prioritised for those who are sheltering, we have been struggling to get fresh meat and vegetables (we only have a small metro type store near us that don’t have much fresh produce). Between timing and a lack of fresh produce, we ate takeaway at least once if not twice a week, which is obviously incredibly unhealthy and expensive. We now order boxes from a company called Gousto which give us all of the fresh ingredients to make four meals per week at home which contain fresh meat and vegetables. Although they’re still about £5 per week dearer than if I bought the ingredients myself on my online shopping, in the long run, they are still more affordable and healthier than a takeaway and I don’t produce any food waste as they only give you as much as you need for the dish. I’m not sure if they (or something similar) operates in the US & Canada) but they are definitely worth a look as an alternative to expensive and unhealthy fast food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear that but I’m glad you found this service. We have something in the US and Canada that’s similar called Hello Fresh and I know a lot of people do tend to find it very helpful.

      Like

      1. Yes! We have Hello Fresh here too but Gousto’s reviews were better for more variety and flavour. They also use a lot more recyclable materials it seems and are looking for ways to go completely plastic-free.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. i truly am saving money by just SAVING but then again i live rent free lol
    now that there’s covid i just walk to the groceries and make all my food. haven’t ordered out once/ only have spent on masks which my only impulse buy since i don’t want to keep throwing my single use ones away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol yes living rent free helps! Yeah making your own food helps a lot and after lockdown started I haven’t eat out either which actually saved a bit of money which was great.

      Like

  10. Great Post and info from all of your readers. It’s a double edge sword wanting to keep the economy thriving and supporting small businesses that are open but conserve as well. The blessing of the pandemic is seeing how little is needed and less is more. We cook almost every night so food and wine of course are essential items. Ha on the wine. My big purchase was a tee shirt that says Coffee Yoga Wine and it makes me so happy wearing it when I teach yoga. I teach an UnWine🍷d Wed yoga class on Zoom with my daughter. I have been blessed some clients are paying me during the pandemic when I can’t see them, others are sending donations for my non paid classes but it’s still a big slash in income but equalling out without spending.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I so agree the pandemic has really taught us to live in a more simple way and to really cut back on things we don’t need. I’m glad you’re still able to have some kind of income even if it’s lower.
      That shirt sounds amazing!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Good post! So true about not needing to spend money to have fun. My ways of keeping myself entertained are all free. I do yoga (so many free resources online), writing (just need a computer, which most people have), reading (libraries are useful for this) and playing music (not lucrative for most people to buy instruments but I already own them, so it’s cheap for me.) Thanks for the post, Pooja.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! All those are such great free/affordable activities and honestly the list can go on forever. I mean you can just take a nice long walk or something and that would be a fun free activity.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a useful post! With current circumstances, it highlights that we do not always need money to have fun (or can be done on a budget) and live simpler. I’ve definitely bought less in the past few months. Thank you for sharing, this is incredibly well written!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I use ‘Impulse Saver’ on my purchases. So, my bank rounds up on a purchase, e.g. if I spend £1.05, it asks me if I want to transfer the extra amount (£0.95) into my savings account. It’s not much, but every little bit slowly adds up 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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