Don’t be hesitant to break personal finance rules if the times call for it. When the economy and employment are stable, it’s natural to budget accordingly and abide by long honored financial traditions. Likewise, when things go haywire, as they have this year, your personal finance rules may have to go out the window, too.
The financial impact of the pandemic has changed the way that people think about money. Many folks whose personal spending habits might have included a $5 cup of coffee every morning are now thinking twice and saving that $5 every day of the month. Financial experts have been keen to offer up their advice on reducing spending as well. You don’t have to be an expert, though, to follow these few simple ideas on how to keep more cash in your pocket during the pandemic.
Analyzing your personal spending habits is the gateway to making them healthier. Just like a doctor has to analyze the symptoms of a disease in order to diagnose it and treat it, you’ve got to analyze your spending habits in order to change them in a way that’s going to be healthier. There are many software programs that will help you track your spending habits and then quickly detect ways you can save money through a 12 month period. Just the thought alone that you want to spend money more wisely is a good start. Think about all the things you spend money on. Which things can you live with? Which ones could you live without?
The Expense of Online Life
How much does your online life cost you? The answer for some will be, “Nothing,” while the answer for many millions of people will be, “More than I ever imagined.” Online subscriptions are seemingly bite-sized little bills that save you money on media like movies, music, and books. However, when you add up all of those online subscriptions, it can quickly rack up a total of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Are there any of these subscriptions you could live without for 12 months?
Interest is a great word if you’re talking about something that fascinates you, but in the world of personal finance, interest is an unpleasant word. It means all that money you pay in addition to the product you actually received. If you finance anything, or have credit cards, you know exactly what interest is. Interest is the closest thing you’ll ever find to an instance of money evaporating in thin air. You’re paying money for nothing. If you want to lower your interest this year, it’s time to think about refinancing or consolidating debts. You’ll be shocked at how much money you can save just by adjusting interest rates on some of your credit cards, loans, and other payments.
Insurance is another one of those tricky products that doesn’t actually get you much of anything unless something terrible happens. For example, car insurance is an annual expense for hundreds of millions of people who won’t ever actually need a dime from the insurance company. Getting a better car insurance rate alone can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. And while car insurance will always be a necessary expense, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. Shop for better car insurance rates a couple of times a year. When you find them, it will free up more money in your budget. Car insurance comparison tools are a great place to start out if you want to lower insurance premiums.
Using cash back apps might not instantly make you rich, or even give you much more than a few hundred dollars a year, but when you consider that you’re shopping anyway, why not get every dime you can out of it? Let’s say you plan to buy a $300 set of headphones this year. You use an app to do it and get a sweet $10 back out of that purchase. Reward programs with online and offline retailers is another great way to make money just from the fact that you’re spending cash. It puts more money in your pocket for doing something you would have done anyway. You’ll find an abundance of cash back apps to help you start your journey.
These five simple ways to reduce spending this year won’t make you rich, but they will give you a sense of responsibility and satisfaction that you’ve done all you could to prepare for the future in this uncertain era.