Now that most of us are under some form of community lockdown and working from home, you might have noticed more money accumulating in your savings account — all thanks to being able to skip on overpriced lunches and the daily commute. But before you go on and blow all that money on a big purchase, consider this: now’s the best time to get your finances in order and learn how to intentionally save money. Here’s how you can do just that.
Downgrade your phone plan
Unless your home WiFi is unreliable AF and you’ve had to connect to your phone data for work, chances are you’ve barely used your data and you’re paying a premium for basically nothing. If you’re not locked into a contract, you should downgrade your plan and stop letting your money go to waste.
Delete online shopping apps from your phone
Yes, we get it. Online shopping is fun and nothing beats the excitement of getting that “delivery on its way” e-mail. But do you really need another pajama set? Are you really going to use that pottery kit? Yes, maybe that new sweater will make you feel happier for a moment, but you know what’ll make you happier in the long run? Financial security. Flee from temptation and delete those apps.
DIY when possible
Thanks to our current situation, we’ve now got more time to explore other interests and learn new skills. This means more time to do home repairs, sew clothes, even start a vegetable garden! If those tasks seem daunting, start small: learn how to cook your favorite meals instead of going with the usual stir-fry, and maybe you’ll find yourself ordering delivery less frequently. Your wallet will thank you for it.
Ride a bike instead of driving
Now that roads are more empty and public transport is harder to come by, you might want to consider riding a bike to work (or the grocery) instead. If you don’t have a bike, it may seem like a huge expense, but it’s much cheaper than driving and you’ll get a workout in the process. (Of course, you’ve got to take into consideration your fitness level and how safe your roads are for cyclists.)
Opt for home deliveries instead of doing the grocery yourself
The grocery is full of temptations and it’s just way too easy to deviate from your shopping list and throw whatever looks appealing in your shopping cart. To keep your impulse shopping tendencies at bay, opt for home deliveries instead. (Just be mindful of what you’re adding to your virtual cart as well!)
Getting things delivered is also a good way to support small businesses. Try to make an effort to buy from local companies and small businesses. You may not necessarily save money, but you’ll be supporting your community, which is always a smart idea.
Get a cashback credit card
A cashback credit card is exactly what it sounds like. Every time you make a purchase using these cards, you get some cashback as an incentive. The money you get back is just a small percentage so you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to go on a shopping spree, but it’s a good way to “earn” your money back as you make your essential purchases.
Join a barter community
Have you done a Marie Kondo and singled out the things in your home that no longer spark joy? Why don’t you use them to trade for things you actually need, like toiletries and other grocery items? Barter groups are everywhere on social media, so go on and look for one in your local community.
We know what you might be thinking: what does donating have to do with saving money? Turns out giving your money to charity can help you become more money-savvy in the long run. If you donate a certain amount of money to a charity regularly, this could motivate you to pay more attention to how you’re spending the rest of your money. And the more attentive you are to your bank account, the better it is for your financial wellness. Plus, you’ll get all the personal benefits of giving: a sense of community, more gratitude, etc.
How are you spending or saving your money during this time? Tell us all about it in the comments!