With retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and other nonessential businesses closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing percentage of Canadians are out of work. More than two million Canadians, which is the equivalent of one in ten workers, have applied for jobless claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re missing paychecks or you’re trying to prepare for the worse by putting some money aside, you might want to reevaluate your budget and look for ways to free up some cash. Here are 6 COVID-19 budgeting tips to reduce your spending during the pandemic.
1. Renegotiate Your Insurance Policies
You can renegotiate your insurance policy on a yearly basis, and doing it now can help you save money during the pandemic. With fewer vehicles on the roads, multiple auto insurance providers are already reducing the costs of their premiums on car insurance.
You could call your insurance provider and explain that you’re driving less than before the pandemic because you’re no longer commuting and ask for a cheaper policy. And while you’re at it, you could also review all your insurance policies to make sure you get the best coverage for your specific situation.
Shop around, get multiple quotes and educate yourself about the pros and cons of every insurance policy you have, from home to life. Read the policies you signed and examine whether you still need the same coverage as you did before the pandemic or not. If you don’t, call your insurance provider and renegotiate your policy to save money on a monthly basis.
2. Cancel All The Memberships And Subscriptions You No Longer Use
You should cancel all the subscriptions and memberships that you no longer use or need during the pandemic. Gym memberships and various online subscriptions might seem cheap, but they quickly add up and can make a significant impact on your monthly budget.
Identify which subscriptions and memberships you and your family are not using right now and cut them. Keep in mind that you can always resubscribe to a service in a matter of minutes. So if you didn’t use the service in the past month, it’s time to get rid of it.
You can also cancel some memberships or subscriptions you use but could live without. Being subscribed to multiple video streaming services might keep you entertained during this time, but it also increases your monthly spending.
3. Cancel Your Landline And Reduce Your Data Plan
Paying for both a landline and a mobile phone service during the coronavirus pandemic can be wasteful. You’re already spending most of your time at home, so anyone who wants to reach you could do it on either phone.
You could also renegotiate your mobile service plan. If you’re home all the time, do you really need to pay for that big data plan you got so you could watch videos on your commute? Probably not. Call your provider and look into cheaper data plans. Compare these plans with the deals from other providers and see which could help you save the most.
4. Stop Ordering Takeout
Food can be your biggest monthly expense after housing, especially if you have a large family. The good news for your wallet is that you can’t overspend at restaurants and bars for the time being. But if you order takeout several times per week, you could, in fact, spend more on food than you did before the outbreak began.
Here’s the thing, not only does restaurant food cost a lot more than the food you cook at home, but the tips and delivery fees also add up quickly, further increasing your spending. Cooking most of your meals can have a major impact on your budget.
5. Use Grocery Lists And Coupons
Using grocery lists can help you shop on a budget. Talk to your family, plan out what you’re going to cook for the week, and make a list of all the ingredients you need. Stick to simple recipes you can cook without using flavour enhancers such as special sauces or exotic spices because those ingredients usually tend to be more expensive.
Add the rest of the items your household needs on the list before you leave the house. Keep your list simple, and remember that you could save money in the long run if you buy non-perishables such as detergent, toilet paper, etc. in bulk.
Make sure you stick to the list when you’re shopping to avoid impulse buys. If an item catches your attention, ask yourself why it’s not on the list before putting it in the shopping cart.
You can also save money by using discount vouchers or coupons when shopping. You should also consider switching to other brands if certain items are on sale.
6. Consolidate Your Debt
Debt consolidation means bringing together multiple debts into a combined loan with a single monthly payment. You can use this process to consolidate high-interest debts such as overdraft balances, outstanding bills, and even payday loans.
Consolidating your debt can reduce your total debt cost and simplify your finances, giving you better control of your budget.