The current global pandemic has rapidly transformed life as we know it. Both individuals and businesses have had to adjust nearly overnight. Many people are trying to figure out how to save money during these challenging times. One of the most important things you can do is cut back on costs. Personal finance advisor and entrepreneur Ramit Sethi compares cutting costs to flossing. He says “we all know we should do it, but most of us never get around to it.” A failure to cut costs often leads to a sense of guilt, but many people also find themselves crippled when it comes to making a decision on what to cut back on.
Focus on Your Most Important Needs
If deciding what to keep and what to cut out is overwhelming, try to think about your top three expanses. Choose to focus on those. Some, like rent and electric bills, are necessary. You may be able to negotiate them to a lower number, depending on your situation. Other costs, such as buying new clothing and eating out, are easy to cut back or eliminate completely. During the pandemic, most restaurants and bars are closed, which makes taking out one large expense easy.
Create Smaller Goals
Many people set high goals for themselves, and then become completely discouraged when they don’t accomplish them immediately. If you have a specific financial goal that you want to accomplish, it’s often enough to get most of the way there, feel good with your success, and move on. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of not meeting your goal, beating yourself up, and becoming too disheartened to create new goals and keep improving.
Automate Your Savings and Bills
One of the best financial choices you can make is to have money automatically deducted from your paycheck and put into a savings account. This way you won’t be tempted to spend it. If you don’t use automation, you’ll be relying on yourself to remember to put the money away each month. You may find yourself spending it on purchases you don’t necessarily need, instead.
You can also automate many of your bills too, from car insurance to utilities. Some companies offer slight discounts if you sign up for automatic payments.
Taking these steps will help you save money during a pandemic and set you up for future financial success.