It should go without saying that many American families are hurting financially right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This event has caused many people to consider how to save money. Many people had their work hours reduced or their job entirely, and according to some surveys as many as 63% of American families are living paycheck to paycheck, and about 3 out of 10 adults have no savings at all. There is no doubt that most working Americans are feeling the pain right now, but the truth is that conditions were not that much better than before the pandemic, and things are probably not going to dramatically improve when the pandemic is finally over.
But here in America we keep fighting and don’t give up. Almost any challenge can be an opportunity, or inspiration to succeed as best you can with what you’ve got. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of suggestions that (broadly speaking) would apply to anyone. Obviously, everyone’s situation is different, and we can’t guarantee that following this advice will absolutely lead to success, but generally speaking, these actions will help.
Cook At Home
Let’s face it after a hard day of work it’s challenging to have the energy to make dinner, especially when you consider all the dishes. So it’s no surprise that as many as a third of Americans eat fast food daily, and quite a few are eating at restaurants or ordering food from delivery services regularly as well. Aside from not being healthy, this can be incredibly expensive, far more expensive than buying groceries and cooking from home. If you do not know how to cook, start with something simple like chopped chicken breast and rice with a little soy sauce. These are quick and easy to make, and inexpensive. And if you already know how to cook, however much you cook from home you probably could do more. Cutting out fast food will stop adding weight to your belly and start adding it to your wallet, where it should be.
Pack a Lunch
Similar to our advice to cook at home instead of eating at restaurants, you should pack your lunch for work. Getting lunch while you are at work will add up to hundreds of dollars a month. Instead, pack a lunch and bring it with you. Additionally, you should have your coffee at home before heading to work or if your workplace has a coffee machine you should get your coffee at work. Stopping at a coffee shop drive-through every morning on the way to the office will also add up to hundreds of dollars a month.
Next, you should track your income and especially your expenses. A simple spreadsheet is good for this but there are lots of apps that you can use that make this really simple. Tracking your spending is a very good way to realize how much you can save over the course of a year. There are also browser plugins that you can download that will automatically find coupons to reduce your prices when purchasing things online.
Find DIY Solutions
Do as much DIY on your home as you have the knowledge and capability to do instead of hiring contractors. You don’t need to hire painters you can do it yourself. Get a ladder and clean your gutters. Or if you have children at home give them an allowance to have them help you around the house. This will get the housework done for much cheaper than hiring someone and will teach them about hard work and how to take care of home when they are older and ready to own one.
It can be hard work to save money, you may have to sacrifice some luxuries. But ultimately, you’ll definitely be better for it. For more information about how we can help you save your hard-earned cash, see our savings account options or contact us today to speak with one of our banking experts!