The coronavirus’s spread has caused record levels of unemployment, shipping delays, and price increases for groceries and some products. Many people have less money than before governments initiated coronavirus lockdowns, and essential supplies, like food and hand sanitizer, cost more.
If you’re concerned about managing your finances in a post-COVID world, you can take these steps to decrease your expenses and ensure you can afford the essential goods you need.
Refinance Your Mortgage
Although the price of food is increasing, interest rates have declined to record lows. It may be possible for you to refinance your mortgage and decrease your monthly mortgage payments. Compare your home loan options at iSelect to determine how much you could save by refinancing your home loan. A home loan comparison through iSelect will outline options for different lenders, including banks and credit unions. You can review any cancellation or transfer fees that may apply to have a clear understanding of the expenses you may incur from refinancing your loan.
Access price comparison sites online to determine the best sources for all of your essential needs. Many companies offer free shipping if your order meets a minimum identified value. Other businesses offer free shipping on specific products or to consumers who have a membership.
Check Your Policies
Cancel your gym membership if you’re unable to use it. You may be eligible for refunds from several different venues offering limited services due to the coronavirus. For example, some people have been able to reduce their insurance costs because they drive less than before the lockdown. Review your contracts to determine your rights, and if you qualify for refunds, pursue them.
Manage Your Savings
The markets have been volatile since the coronavirus prompted lockdowns around the globe. Returns for investors have plummeted due to low-interest rates. You may be able to secure your finances and accrue interest from a low-interest savings account that secures your deposit.
Some banks offer loan deferrals, which may enable you to save money on your mortgage or car payments without penalties. Review the terms and consider deferring payments if you need to.
Apply for Benefits
You may qualify for unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other benefits. Apply for any financial assistance programs you may qualify for. These programs can provide you with the extra financial resources you need to cover your living expenses.
Look for Sales
Many vendors and retailers are offering discounts to entice buyers to purchase goods. Keep a list of the items you need and review prices regularly to find the best deal on the essentials you need. Purchase shoes, shirts, and bras on sale to secure quality merchandise at low prices. There’s no reason why you can’t still treat yourself to a new piece of clothing, as long as you find the right price for your budget.
It may be possible to refinance your automobile loan or secure a low-interest loan to consolidate your debt. Many credit card companies charge 15% to 25% interest. It’s possible to qualify for a loan from a bank or credit union with an interest rate of 5%. A financial advisor or loan officer may be able to offer tips to help you reduce your monthly expenses.
Reduce Your Energy Costs
When light bulbs burn out, replace them with energy-efficient bulbs. Turn your water heater down to 120°F. This will help reduce the cost of heating water for dishwashing and showers. Increase how much you save on heating water by using cold water to wash clothes and insulate your water tank. Set your air conditioning for 78°F to keep your house cool without exceeding your budget. Turn lights off when you aren’t in the room and unplug appliances you aren’t using. Some places offer lower energy rates during non-peak hours, so you may also be able to save money by doing laundry and charging laptops and phones during those times.
Furloughed employees can fill time by starting a garden. You will be able to save money on your groceries and enjoy meals with home-grown produce. Start with tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, green beans, lettuce, and cucumbers. You can also opt to grow herbs, which will keep much better if you grow them yourself outside.