The coronavirus has thrown the economy into upheaval and forced us all to reconsider our finances. It’s more important than ever to save money, and we’ve got tips! Read on for a few ways to conserve your cash.
Renegotiate Internet and phone service
You never know when there’s a better program out there for you that could save you some money. Certain companies may also be willing to give you a break on your current service, or even upgrade you for the same or a lower cost. Don’t be afraid to ask—the worst you can hear is, “No.”
Look at your cable or satellite TV options
This may be a good time to cut the cord if you need to save a few bucks. You may also want to consider downgrading your service—perhaps cutting out movie channels or service to rooms that aren’t being used.
Consider different energy providers
If you live in an area that allows you to switch freely between energy providers, you may be surprised how much money you can save by making a few calls.
Check with your insurance company
Many car insurance companies have announced they are refunding or crediting their customers because the quarantine is keeping so many drivers off the road. If you haven’t been notified by your carrier, reach out. You may be able to save even more than the announced discount if you were previously driving a lot for your commute and or now working from home or by tinkering with your coverage.
Cancel subscriptions and memberships you can't use
“Now's the time to figure out which of your monthly subscriptions are useless right now,” said c|net. “Gym memberships, for instance, aren't usable for those sheltering in place and social distancing. Though many gyms are putting accounts on hold and aren't collecting fees, it doesn't hurt to get in contact with yours to make sure you don't get charged till you can head back in for a workout. One sports club is currently facing a lawsuit that alleges it continued to charge members even when its locations were closed.”
Call your creditors
This may also be a good time to shop for new credit cards. Maybe there’s a lower interest rate out there. “Research balance transfers,” said Real Simple. “Money-saving expert Andrea Woroch suggests transferring any credit card balances you may be carrying to a card that offers 0 percent interest on balance transfers for the first 12 to 18 months. ‘This will give you some time to pay down the balance interest free so you can keep more cash on hand for the unexpected,’” she said.
Plan your meals
Executing a game plan when going into the grocery store is more important than ever to limit your contact with the outside world. But it can also help you save money. Planning out meals in advance can help you keep your shopping lists tight so you only buy the things you need and don’t end up spending an extra $100 on non-essentials.
Make smart moves with your stimulus check
If you get a stimulus check and you don’t need it urgently to buy groceries or pay bills or your mortgage, think about its best use. Can’t get your credit card company to lower your interest? Pay it off (or however much you can) with that check.
There are two different schools of thought on this: One is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first and the other is to pay off any smaller balances to get rid of them quickly and lower the amount of money you have to pay every month.
Cut out the middleman
While services like Uber Eats and Door Dash make food delivery convenient, it can also cost you more to use them. Even if some of these food delivery services have temporarily suspended their delivery fees, they still charge the restaurant a high fee for every order. Order directly from the restaurant, if possible, to get the meals you want and support your favorite spot.
Get a new car
No, really. Many of the big car companies have rolled out enticing programs that suspend payments. Ford’s 6-Month Payment Relief Program offers three months of deferred payments and three months of company paid payments.