The unprecedented worldwide impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has forced many companies to cut pay packets or resort to mass layoffs. Whether you have recently lost your job or you’re just trying to be careful with your finances, it’s a good idea to start budgeting.
Let’s look at some of our best tips for budgeting during the pandemic.
Cut non-essential spending
Have you subscribed to several streaming services? Do you frequently treat yourself with retail therapy? To enjoy greater financial security in these uncertain times, consider cutting off all non-essential spending for a while.
Re-evaluate your utilities
If you’re working from home during the pandemic, your utility bills will likely rise. You’ll be more reliant on your internet for work and entertainment, and your gas and electricity consumption will increase.
This is an ideal time to compare electricity prices and switch to an affordable plan.
Buy long-lasting pantry items in bulk
You can save money by shopping for long-life pantry goods in bulk. Canned meat, fruit and vegetables, honey, dried herbs and spices and grains are some nutritious options. It’s also a good idea to buy a few frozen meals for the days you don’t feel like cooking – it’s much cheaper than take away!
Move in with your partner or family
Do you live by yourself? If you’re working from home, think about moving in with your partner or parents. This way, you can cut down your utility bills and other living expenses.
Also, living by yourself can feel lonely in these uncertain times. Living with your loved ones will help you maintain a sense of normalcy.
Account for emergencies
It might be tempting to think the pandemic is the worst thing that can happen! But there are countless things that can go wrong and impact your finances. Make sure you’re setting aside a portion of your wages for emergencies.
Consider new expenses carefully
This is a particularly tricky time financially, but that doesn’t mean you should refrain from buying new things entirely. For example, having health insurance might be important. Apart from safeguarding yourself against health scares, you’ll also enjoy tax benefits.
Explore financial relief
If you have recently lost your job, the government and other organisations are offering financial relief for these difficult times. Explore benefits that you might be eligible for.
Avoid payday loans
If you’re living from pay to pay, taking out a payday loan might seem like a convenient option. But are you in a position to repay this loan? This isn’t the time to drive yourself into debt with high interest repayments.
Find a side hustle
Relying on only one source of income can be risky. Why not start a side hustle to bring in some extra cash? Learn a new skill or polish up an existing one to diversify your income.
The bottom line
While your budgeting choices will vary according to your personal circumstances, we hope our tips will help you create a basic framework for effectively managing your finances in this difficult time. Now more than ever, it’s important to stick to a strict budget and future-proof your finances.