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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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