- 19 Ways To Save Money During A COVID-19 Quarantine
- Start a budget
- Meal prep
- Contribute to your emergency fund
- Cut back on subscriptions
- Keep your energy usage low
- Explore your tax software options
- Credit Karma Tax
- Grow your own food
- Move money to a high-yield savings account
- Slow fun spending
- Rework vacation plans
- Rework student loan debt payments
- Call service providers
- Avoid retail therapy
- Buy in bulk
- Reduce your car insurance premium
- Invest in the stock market
- Digital coupons
- Earn cash back
- Upload your grocery receipts
- Do your hair at home
- Set up automatic savings contributions
- Read more:
- Managing Your Money During Coronavirus
- The big economic picture
- Managing your savings
- Managing your debt
- Managing your budget
- Stock up smarter
- Trim spending, stay on top of expenses
- Shift money as needed
- Save on entertainment (and stay connected to friends)
- Lend a hand if you can
- Take control to cultivate calm
- 4 Ways To Conserve Your Money During the Coronavirus Crisis
- What Is An Emergency Fund?
- Step 1: Do The Math
- Step 2: Find Ways To Cut Costs Right Now
- #3: Negotiate Your Bills
- #4: Find Ways to Increase Your Income
- How to Conserve Your Money During Coronavirus Pandemic
- Continued Learning
- 5 Ways To Save Money During Coronavirus
- Gym memberships
- Other leisure activities
- Mortgage payment holiday
- Review your current mortgage
- Take stock of household bills and insurance policies
- Manage your household budget
- How to make money in lockdown
- Claim £6 a week when working from home
- Online surveys
- Online tutoring or freelancing
19 Ways To Save Money During A COVID-19 Quarantine
The COVID-19 lockdown has most of us at home, unsure when life will return to normal. The pandemic has affected our day-to-day as well as our finances. The stock market continues to dip and I’m not sure how I’ll be able to co-work with my spouse in the same 1,100 square-foot apartment.
Regardless of the setbacks, there can be some positive things you can do with your money. Check out the list below on 19 ways to save money during the COVID-19 lockdown. All of us are shut off from venturing out to shops and restaurants, so we might as well save some dough.
To get you started here’s a MU30 video that offers some tips to help keep your money (and your mind) well-taken care of during these interesting times:
Start a budget
If you haven’t started a budget by now, you should. A budget just means tracking your income and expenses regularly. You can do this each month or budget by paycheck, just use a method that works well for your brain.
Use a spreadsheet if you to do things manually, but there are budgeting apps that can do the work for you.
PocketSmith has budget forecasting features that can show you how today’s activities will impact you tomorrow. See projections up to 30 years into the future so that you can adjust your spending for better results. As your income fluctuates, you can try out various budget changes and see where you can cut back.
Another benefit of PocketSmith is customizable summaries that arrive in your inbox on a schedule you specify. You can also set up budget alerts so that you’ll be aware when you might be at risk of spending too much. It also integrates with more than 12,000 financial institutions to help you get a better picture of your net worth.
You don’t need matching plastic containers or a boatload of kids in order to meal prep. Meal prepping is a great way to save money during the quarantine. It prevents you from buying too much food at the grocery store and gives you a structured food plan. There is no need to binge on Cheetos and ramen, guys.
Before you venture out for food essentials, make a list of meals you want to make. Keep it easy by cooking up casseroles or large quantities to make meal prep easier. I typically grill up chicken breasts, bake lasagna and hard boil eggs to eat all week long.
Contribute to your emergency fund
If you want to eliminate financial stress, you need to have an emergency fund.
The size of your emergency fund will vary your monthly living expenses, but try to aim for at least three months of expenses. An emergency fund can reduce the burden of an unexpected event, sudden job loss or a medical-related event.
CIT Bank makes building that savings easier, thanks to competitive interest rates and freedom from the fees banks usually charge.
But the most useful feature CIT Bank offers is its Savings Builder, which offers tiered interest rates. All you’ll need to do is deposit $100 or more each month to maintain the highest interest rate: 0.40%%. This gives you an incentive to keep socking money away.
If for some reason, you can’t make a deposit one month, you’ll still earn an interest rate of 1.06%, which is better than you’ll get with many lenders. Once you’ve saved $25,000, you’ll earn the higher rate whether you deposit or not.
Cut back on subscriptions
At one point, I had more than 10 recurring subscriptions. Once I added up my subscriptions I saw just how much I really spent on things that I only used occasionally. While you’re on lockdown, make a list of your subscriptions. This includes virtual subscriptions, apps and streaming TV, and physical subscriptions, gym memberships or product boxes.
Figure out which ones you can part with, even if temporarily, to save some money. Maybe you don’t need five streaming TV subscriptions. Skip a month or two on box subscriptions. You could uncover a subscription that you haven’t used in months which can add up to big savings.
If you want help eliminating some of your subscriptions, try Trim. They can not only help you find and cancel your subscriptions, but they can also help you negotiate certain bills.
Keep your energy usage low
Every little bit counts and so does your energy use. Look up energy incentive programs in your area. In California, residents are encouraged to reduce energy consumption between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. each weekday. And it’s reduced energy bills that consumers pay.
While in lockdown, you may be using more energy since you are home 24/7, so be more mindful. Turn off the lights when you aren’t in the room. Grill or use a crockpot versus the oven.
Unplug electronics that don’t need to be plugged in. Turn off the heat and wear more layers. Every little bit adds up to savings on your next energy bill.
Explore your tax software options
Due to the coronavirus, the IRS has extended the tax return deadline to July 15th. That means you have more time to explore tax software options if you are DIYing your taxes.
There are a ton of options and I boiled it down to Credit Karma and TaxAct.
Credit Karma Tax
Credit Karma put in significant upgrades to its tax software this year. It is easy to use and understand. They took out complicated tax jargon which makes it easier for someone who didn’t graduate in accounting to do their taxes.
Plus, it’s 100% free regardless of your tax filing situation. Your federal and state returns are included, though Credit Karma does not support multiple state returns. The tax sections are uncomplicated and the dashboard creates a great user experience.
It’s possible to file your taxes for free using TaxAct. If you are a W-2 income earner who also wants to claim the earned income tax credit or the child care tax credit, you could file for free using TaxAct.
TaxAct is mobile-friendly, too. You can snap a picture of your W-2 and upload it to the dashboard. This feature is one of my favorites because it reduces the chance of error if you were to manually enter your information.
The dashboard is easy to use because the sections are organized and the interface isn’t cluttered. That makes it simple to start and stop your tax return at any time. You can jump right in without getting lost.
Grow your own food
Ever want to grow your own food? The soil is there for the taking! You can start small by planting some herbs. Mint, chives, and parsley are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of attention.
You can even fertilize old dirt by adding coffee grounds or eggshells. Turn the dirt every few days and make sure you give it some water. My husband and I did this and now we’re starting to see worms. We got worms!
Move money to a high-yield savings account
One of my favorite ways to make my savings grow passively is to use a high-yield savings account. A high-yield savings account typically earns more interest than the national average.
Look for online banks that offer more than 1% in interest. Take a look at Money Under 30’s favorite high-yield savings accounts.
Again, one of the best accounts to check out is the CIT Savings Builder. You’ll need to maintain a balance of $25,000 OR deposit just $100 each month to get the highest APY offered. But that’s a great kick in the pants to get started saving.
Slow fun spending
Save money by slowing your fun spending. Make a point to remove saved credit card information from retail sites. Eliminate marketing emails from your inbox by using Unroll.me, a free email filtering tool.
Quarantine might be a good time to give your wallet a rest so you can reassess your budget.
Rework vacation plans
As much as you may be tempted to keep your vacation plans, it might be time to rework them. Your health and safety are more important than holing up in a near-empty hotel anyways.
Take a look at your calendar and figure out which plans you can rework. Many airlines and hotels are offering free cancellations or rescheduled plans.
Rework student loan debt payments
On March 13th, the Trump administration agreed to waive federal student loan interest. In addition, the Federal Student Aid office confirmed that you can place your federal student loans in administrative forbearance.
Administrative forbearance means that you can temporarily stop making payments on your federal student loans. Your loans won’t accrue any interest either. You can take that savings and use it to cover your basic needs while in quarantine.
Call service providers
Many service providers are providing relief options to those impacted by the coronavirus. Call your providers to see what options you might have.
The Keep Americans Connected Pledge provides no disruption to internet services on unpaid bills due to the pandemic.
Avoid retail therapy
Are you prone to scrolling through Amazon or your favorite retail site when you’re bored or stressed? This activity could put a wrench in your savings while in quarantine. One of my favorite ways to avoid retail therapy is to focus on contentment activities.
Contentment comes from doing things that don’t cost money and that also gives you joy. I often refer to a written list of activities that I come up with first so I never run ideas.
While I’ve been on lockdown I have completed a puzzle, colored in my adult coloring book, and read my Kindle instead of shopping.
Buy in bulk
Buy in bulk, but avoid hoarding. The jumbo-sized container of cottage cheese is a better buy per ounce versus single servings, plus it saves on plastic. Bulk buys work well for things you can stow away in your pantry or freezer for later use.
I typically to bulk buy various meats, chicken breast, ground turkey, and canned tuna. Be sure to check the per pound or per ounce price and compare it against single-serving prices.
Reduce your car insurance premium
No one s to hassle with car insurance premiums, but now might just be the best time to see if you have a good rate. Consumer Reports found that Allstate tried to engage in discriminatory pricing and many consumers didn’t even know it.
Make sure you aren’t taken advantage of by figuring out how much car insurance you really need. Compare rates by gathering multiple car insurance quotes. I to use Gabi, an online tool that compares insurance policies for you.
Then call up your current policy provider and ask them what other discounts they can provide. I did this with my own insurance provider and I was able to get a $31 discount just by asking.
Invest in the stock market
As counterintuitive as this might sound, now is the time to scoop up some stock deals if you can. Right now, stock prices are falling dramatically which means you have a chance to buy stocks at a discount.
Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban revealed that he bought stock in Live Nation amid the pandemic, according to a CNBC article. One way I to invest in the stock market is by checking the stock prices of companies I know. I’m a huge Disney consumer, so I saw that their stock price had fallen more than 40% over the past three months.
If you want some help investing in stocks and want a low-fee account (who wouldn’t, right now!), check out You Invest by J.P. Morgan. If you don’t want to pay anything you can go with the You Invest Trade option that has no fees or minimum balance required. But you will need to do the work yourself.
If you want help managing your account, you can opt for You Invest’s managed options. But, you will need to pay an annual fee of 0.35%.
Many major grocery chains offer digital coupons on their respective apps. Download your local grocer’s app to take a look prior to hitting up the grocery store.
You’d be surprised how much you can save just by clipping digital coupons.
Earn cash back
What could be better than clipping coupons? Automatically earning cash back on your purchases.
There are plenty of cards that offer cash back, but with Dosh, you can earn with the cards you already have. You’ll just download the free app and link to your cards, then start spending and saving.
Dosh offers cash back with some of the top retailers and restaurants including Walmart and Dunkin’ Donuts (plus 15k local restaurants and retailers that offer up to 10% cash back), and hotel chains including 20% cash back on over 60k international hotels.
Another cash back app to consider is Fetch Rewards, which uses your store receipts to give you rewards. When you spend at grocery stores, big-box retailers, and convenience stores, you’ll get credit for buying from brands that are on Fetch’s partner list. Once you’ve earned enough points, you can cash them in for gift cards for major retailers.
Upload your grocery receipts
When you’re done with your grocery run, upload your receipt using the Fetch Rewards app. Earn points on the app and redeem them for a plethora of gift cards.
It’s a great way to get money back on things you already bought.
Do your hair at home
Yes, you should probably still brush and style your hair unless you enjoy the gremlin look. But you’re probably not headed to the salon any time soon. Instead, look for ways to color and cut your hair at home.
Personally, I’m a big fan of at-home hair coloring kits, Madison Reed, which is delivered to my front door. The formula is ammonia-free, and the quality is a step up from what you can find at the drug store.
You can also trim your hair at home. I recommend looking up some videos prior to having your way with the scissors.
Set up automatic savings contributions
Set up automatic savings contributions with your bank. It’s a great way to get in the habit of saving without manually moving money.
I have several automated contributions set up, including contributions towards retirement, vacation, a Jeep Wrangler (let’s make this a reality), and a down payment.
Make the most your time at home by saving money. Whether you decide to cut out spending or set up automatic savings, you can put your money on lockdown the right way.
In times of uncertainty, taking control of your finances can give you peace of mind.
Managing Your Money During Coronavirus
A couple watching tv and on their laptop together, inside.
With coronavirus disrupting our daily lives, many people are worried about the effects on their budgets. Being told to sit on your hands and wait while uncertainty swirls around you can just add to your stress levels. Taking some practical steps to manage your money can give you a better handle on your finances right now.
Our mission at Simple is to help people feel more confident with their money, and that seems more important now than ever. We hope that the budgeting tools built in to your Simple Account— Expenses and Safe-to Spend®—along with these tips can help you feel more in control while so many things in the world seem uncertain.
The big economic picture
Uncertainty drives anxiety—and that shows up in the economy. With reports of the stock market dropping and businesses scrambling, it’s easy to get caught up in that anxiety. But take a step back—and a deep breath—and look at the big picture.
- Your Simple account is FDIC-insured (up to the legal limits) via our partner bank, BBVA USA. While interest rates may fluctuate, the balance in your checking account is unaffected by the market ups and downs
- Markets tend to return to health over the long term. Financial experts are giving a variety of advice, with some saying that, just your face, your 401k or retirement accounts may be good things not to touch right now. But it all depends on your individual circumstances and how close you are to retirement, so consider talking to a financial advisor (or your HR rep, if you have a 401k at your job) about the smartest move for you right now
Managing your savings
If you have savings tucked away, in a Protected Goals Account, you might be wondering how interest rate changes will affect you.
It’s true that most interest rates will probably go down (meaning you earn less interest on your money), but your principal balance (the amount of actual money you have in the bank) won’t.
So you might want to just sit tight and keep any savings you have available in case you encounter unexpected changes to your financial situation—and consider continuing whatever saving-up you’re already doing, if you can, to support your longer-term needs.
That said, if you’re saving for something longer-term and are concerned about falling interest rates, now could be a good time to think about whether a fixed-rate savings option, a No-Penalty CD, would be useful.
The main benefit to a CD is that the interest rate stays the same for the CD’s entire term, so you can count on a reliable return even if interest rates are falling elsewhere.
And a No-Penalty CD allows you to withdraw your money early with no fees in case you do need to tap into your savings a few months down the line.
Managing your debt
With rates going down, now might be a good time to get a better handle on your debt.
- Corral credit cards. If you have credit-card balances, see if you qualify for a card with lower interest (or a no-interest introductory rate) and transfer your balances from higher-interest cards (though be aware there’s usually a fee for transfers)
- Manage your mortgage. Have a mortgage? Refinancing at a lower rate can not only reduce your payments now, but help you spend less on interest in the long term. (There are some costs to refinancing, so do your research)
- Ease student loan stress. If student loan payments are straining your budget right now (especially if your income is taking a hit at the moment), you could look into refinancing or deferring your payments for a time. The recent announcement of a possible student loan interest waiver may have an impact on how these options affect you, so call your loan servicing company to get details
Managing your budget
Whenever there’s a big upheaval in the world, the ripple effects can show up in your day-to-day budget. Taking control of your spending can help you weather both the concrete challenges and the stress of the unknown.
Stock up smarter
Lots of folks feel the need to stock up on supplies right now. Yet few of us have money in the budget to clear out Costco. Here are some small, reasonable ways to get what you need and stay on budget.
- Groceries: To reduce waste and grocery bills, center your shopping list on affordable, shelf-stable foods that won’t spoil in case you’re stuck at home for a bit— rice, pasta, and beans. Look for fresh foods that freeze well ( bread and shredded cheese) and long-lasting produce ( onions and carrots)
- Medications: Consider picking up just the few things you’d need if you had a winter bug, cold medicine and cough drops. If you take a prescription medication regularly, give your doctor a ring to ask if you need an extra supply—and be sure to call your insurance to make sure they’ll cover it
- Shop your own home: You might be surprised at how much you already have in your house to keep you comfortable while saying in. That lonely can of pumpkin in the back of the cabinet? Make curried pumpkin soup! The stack of half-finished crafts or unread books in the corner? Cheaper fun than renting movies online! Do an inventory of what’s right under your nose before you run out to buy more
Trim spending, stay on top of expenses
With the economy changing rapidly, keeping a budget and tracking expenses can help you maintain better control and give you peace of mind. If you haven’t examined your budget closely in a while, now’s a good time to look for any waste and opportunities to save money.
- If you’re not already budgeting, set up Expenses to get started—here’s how
- Holed up at home? See if you can streamline your streaming services so you have plenty of entertainment options without straining your budget
- Look for monthly bills you could reduce— a better internet package or cell phone plan
- Unsubscribe from those oh-so-tempting sales emails (Unroll.me makes it super easy)
- Ordering food delivery can be a convenience and a comfort—and it can also eat into your budget quick. Look for mouth-watering recipe blogs that help you commit to cooking at home more often; Budget Bytes is a great resource for budget-friendly ideas. (And if you do order in, consider getting food from a local restaurant that needs the support)
Shift money as needed
Depending on your situation, you might find yourself with some unexpected expenses— a babysitter if schools are closed. In addition to tightening up optional spending ( entertainment), remember that this is exactly what emergency funds are for—so if you have one, don’t hesitate to use it.
On the flip side, if you have a reprieve on certain expenses ( spending less on gas because you’re working from home), tuck that money into your emergency fund (or start one now!) so you’ve got a sense of security.
Going into debt should always be a last resort, so use your credit card wisely. If you absolutely need to charge a few things in a pinch, consider making a plan for paying off that debt when your finances allow.
Save on entertainment (and stay connected to friends)
Find creative ways to have fun when your plans have to change. The money you save on going out can bolster your budget or emergency savings—and keeping in touch with the people you love makes weathering any storm less stressful.
- Concert canceled? Create a virtual music party—ask everyone to contribute their favorite song to a shared Spotify playlist (and have a video chat dance-off if you’re anxious to bust a move)
- Happy hours curtailed? FaceTime friends for a remote wine night (bonus: the drinks are cheaper!)
- Curbing your travel plans? Plan a staycation full of fun activities you never have time for, a movie marathon, a tour of your city’s parks, or a home spa day
- Movie theaters gone dark? Use the Netflix Party extension for Chrome for a virtual movie night with friends from afar
Lend a hand if you can
Mr. Rogers said it best: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ ”
If you’re lucky enough to have extra money in your budget, using it to help those who are struggling is a great way to ease suffering for others—and reduce your own sense of helplessness at the same time.
- Food banks and services for the houseless are in especially dire need right now, so donating to such organizations can make a big impact. Find your local food bank here
- Some organizations ( the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, and GoFundMe.org) have set up funds to help people disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, as have many cities and states. Search online for initiatives in your state if you’d to contribute locally
- If you use delivery or ride-sharing services, tip as generously as you can. Gig workers are being hit especially hard if you have a few extra bucks, share the love. (And opt for no-contact delivery when available to help both you and your delivery driver stay safer)
- Spend your money with companies that have publicly committed to ethical practices that help their employees and consumers
- Buy from local small businesses whenever possible, especially those hit hardest, restaurants, theaters, and small shops. One way to support your favorite spots when you’re not going out is to buy gift cards—they’ll benefit from the revenue now, and you’ll have some fun to look forward to in the future
Take control to cultivate calm
Focusing on your budget right now can help you feel more in control of your finances in the midst of uncertainty. If you’re feeling the all-too-common urge to shop online when life feels stressful, here are some ways to make curtailing extra spending easier.
Try to keep in mind that the current tumult, while distressing, is temporary; the world tends to weather disruptions and return to normal again at some point. We hope these tips will help you find your footing right now—and work toward being prepared for future ups and downs.
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Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: We do our best to make sure information is accurate as of the date of publication, but things do change quickly sometimes.
Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner bank, BBVA USA, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post.
Individual situations will differ; consult your favorite finance, tax or legal professional for specific advice. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates.
Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.
4 Ways To Conserve Your Money During the Coronavirus Crisis
If you’ve experienced reduced pay, job loss, or you’ve had to close the doors of your small business because of the impacts of Coronavirus, or Covid-19, you may be wondering where your next paycheck will come from.
For many Americans, what you have in your bank account is truly all that you have. That may be a fully stocked emergency fund with savings on top, or just enough money to make it the next two weeks — or even less.
In this article, we’re going to explain specific ways that you can conserve the money that you do have — starting now — regardless of how much it is.
But before we look at those ways, let’s quickly revisit just how important it is to have what’s called an emergency fund in times this.
What Is An Emergency Fund?
An emergency fund is three to six months of income kept in a savings account reserved exclusively for emergency expenses.
This should include money saved for:
- medical bills
- auto repair
It’s simple: save some money, make a specific list of emergency expenses, and don’t touch the money unless it’s an emergency.
Because of the Coronavirus, we’re currently in the midst of a pandemic that has already disrupted daily lives, personal health, jobs, and the economy as a whole.
During times this, it’s critical that you have an emergency fund. For those readers who do have an emergency fund, you now have some comfort in knowing that you can pay your bills for the forthcoming 3-6 months.
[ DOWNLOAD: Got debt? Use our DIY Debt Elimination Worksheet to build a step-by-step plan to get bad debt and boost your income. ]
But what if you don’t have an emergency fund? What if your income was either reduced or stopped entirely? Or what if you're struggling with debt?
Let’s look at 4 ways to conserve the money you have right now — regardless of how much it is — so that you can have peace of mind during this turbulent time.
Step 1: Do The Math
Instead of letting anxiety get the best of you, do the math: your current expenses, how long will your emergency fund and/or savings last you?
Take a minute now to write down your expenses per week on a spreadsheet. Don’t forget one, either.
Next, add them up.
After that, compare your total expenses with how much money you have saved, along with how much money you will be receiving (if any).
How long will your current savings last you?
Once you have that timeframe, whether it’s 2 weeks or 2 months, let’s move on to the next step.
Step 2: Find Ways To Cut Costs Right Now
Now that you have that timeframe, let’s try and lengthen it as much as possible by cutting some of your expenses — immediately.
Take a look at your current expenses, which you wrote down in the previous step.
Which of them can you get rid of — right now?
Maybe you can cut your cable bill. Or subscriptions that you don’t need. Maybe you signed up for a service months ago, but you haven’t even been using it.
Something to keep in mind during this step is that because of “social distancing”, “shelter in place”, or “quarantine” mandates, some of your costs may already be cut.
For example, during this time you may not need money for:
- Commuting to work
- Eating out
- Weekend entertainment
Be sure to factor this into your spreadsheet.
Also, as you’re looking at your expenses, it’s important to only spend money on the essentials. Everything else, in this current pandemic, should be cut.
Essential items include:
- Health needs
- Family needs
- Bills (we’ll discuss this next)
After you have identified which expenses need to be cut, take some time to follow through and get rid of them.
After that, re-do the math on your list.
How much money are you now going to save?
And how much time does that add to your timeframe?
#3: Negotiate Your Bills
Because of the crisis, many companies — such as credit businesses and mortgage lenders — are helping people who have had a reduction in their income or a job loss.
For example, if you have credit card debt, most major credit card companies plan on helping customers by allowing them to:
- skip payments
- utilize lower interest rates
- avoid late fees
This won’t take into effect unless you call your credit company, explain your situation, and ask how they can help you during this time.
Similarly, there is mortgage relief being offered as well, such as:
- The ability to defer payments for months
- Delay foreclosures
For example, you may be able to lower or even suspend your mortgage payments if it’s backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for up to 12 months.
If you’ve been impacted by the coronavirus, call your mortgage lender and discuss how they can help you during this time.
After you have negotiated your bills, incorporate the changes into your new budget and your timeframe.
How much are your expenses now?
How much can you pay down your debt?
How much will you be saving?
What is your new timeframe? How long will your saved money last now?
#4: Find Ways to Increase Your Income
The truth is that there is no limit to how much you can make. While the pandemic has limited some ways to increase your income, there are ways you can earn more.
If you have the time, energy and health, you can work a side hustle that is still allowed and safe in your city. You can use that extra income for savings, pay off debt, or other needs.
Here are 9 side hustle options:
- Join a Delivery Service: You can earn money on your own schedule by using services UberEATS or DoorDash to deliver take-out orders in your local area, or you can start your own delivery service.
- Teach Courses Online: Through websites Udemy, you can create your own course on a topic that you’re passionate about. Whenever someone purchases your class, you earn money! Sign up at Udemy.com to get started.
- Prepare Tax Returns: There are always people and companies in need of help during tax season. If you have previous experience with accounting, bookkeeping, or finance, get started by registering with your tax authority.
- Write and Review Resumes: You can help job seekers perfect their resumes and make a side income in the process. Utilize your personal network or look for opportunities on Upwork.com.
- Use Amazon Mechanical Turk: Make money by completing tasks including identifying objects in a photo or video, transcribing audio recordings, and more. Sign up by creating an account on Amazon.com.
- Donate Plasma: Donating your blood plasma will put much-needed nutrients into hospital patients and much-needed cash into your wallet. Begin by finding a plasma donation center in your area.
- Start a Blog: By creating a blog and filling it with rich content, you can eventually make money from advertising on the website—even while you sleep! Get started by creating an account with WordPress or Wix.
- Deliver Packages: With Amazon Flex, you can deliver Amazon packages for a side hustle income. It pays $18-25 per hour and you get to set your own schedule. The only requirements are that you must have a smartphone, own a vehicle, and you must pass a background check. Sign up on Amazon.com!
- Deliver Anything: Using Postmates, you can deliver food, office supplies, groceries and more in your local area. This side hustle can earn you up to $25 per hour, and you can set your own schedule! Learn more by visiting Postmates.com.
To see our full list of 101 side hustles, click here.
If you can utilize one of these side hustles to increase your income, add it into your running list of expenses and savings.
Now you should have a clear picture of your finances.
How to Conserve Your Money During Coronavirus Pandemic
During this process, you have:
- Identified your income, identified expenses and identified how long the money you currently have saved will last
- Found ways to lower your expenses
- Negotiated critical bills
- Discovered ways to increase your income
Follow these steps so that you will have peace of mind during the coronavirus crisis. And, along the way, share the process with others so they can experience financial peace during this crisis as well.
After the coronavirus pandemic ends, ensure that you prioritize your emergency fund and savings so that when a disaster strikes, you won’t be left wondering when your next paycheck will arrive.
If you have extra time on your hands because of a “shelter in place” mandate or a “quarantine”, you can use it as an advantage to learn more about saving money and how to increase your income. For example:
Editor’s Note: Here at WealthFit, our goal is to help you understand how Coronavirus, or Covid-19, is impacting your finances. To read more about the symptoms and how to get tested, you can find these resources from the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC).
5 Ways To Save Money During Coronavirus
Spring is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your finances and work out where you could be making your money work harder for you.
With restrictions on movement and potential job losses, a lot of us are wondering how we’ll cope with meeting mortgage payments, bills and household costs.
Whether it’s checking the cost of your overdraft on your current account, or cancelling your gym membership, even a few small steps can make a positive impact on your finances.
So, let’s focus on what steps you can take now to save money and maybe even make some along the way, as we ride out the storm created by COVID-19.
While now may not be the best time to cancel your Netflix subscription, it makes little sense to continue paying for services that are currently unavailable.
Many companies have already given their customers the option to pause their contracts for weeks or months, with some offering to suspend accounts indefinitely for vulnerable groups the over 70s.
As so many sporting events have been cancelled, including UK Premiership football, Sky Sports have already given their customers the option to pause their subscriptions to live sport at no cost.
Monthly bills will now show £0 for the sports package, though customers will still need to pay for the rest of their bundle. And even better, you can still watch the sporting replays being shown across the 11 Sky Sports channels at no cost!
Customers should call 0800 151 2747 and say ‘cancel Sky Sports’ or visit the Sky Sports Website for details. BT Sport has also offered to give their customers one month’s credit back, which can be banked or donated to the NHS.
With gyms and health clubs closed, you might also consider suspending or cancelling your gym membership, if your gym hasn’t already paused your memberships fees.
To do this, first check out your gym's official coronavirus policy, which should be visible on their website (if not, you will need to give them a call to discuss options).
Virgin Active are allowing the over 70s and pregnant women to indefinitely pause their memberships, with immediate effect and with all fees waived. For members who are self-isolating due to COVID-19, memberships can be paused for up to four weeks for a £10 fee (this will be waived if you’re able to produce a medical letter confirming that you have had coronavirus).
Other health clubs are offering similar arrangements. If you haven’t yet heard from yours it’s well worth a conversation.
Other leisure activities
While you’re at it, make a list of other subscriptions, memberships to professional bodies, children’s sporting and leisure activities or any duplicate subscriptions in the household (such as two Netflix accounts) and get in touch with providers to discuss your options.
It’s important to check what each individual company is offering before you cancel the Direct Debit with your bank, as cancelling your subscription before its usual renewal date can lead to penalties.
Mortgage payment holiday
If you are already feeling the financial effects of the coronavirus outbreak, you may wish to consider discussing a mortgage payment holiday with your provider. Many lenders are allowing customers to take a break from repaying their mortgage for up to six months without their credit rating being affected.
It's worth noting that this was specifically agreed with the government, although not all banks are required to offer it.
The terms will differ by provider and individual arrangement so make sure you discuss things with your provider to confirm if you can access a holiday from all payments, or if you will only be able to pause the repayments on your capital, for example.
When your payments start again after the holiday, they'll be recalculated, and you may see an increase in your monthly payments (though this should be manageable).
Interest will also continue to build at your usual rate during the holiday, so the total amount of interest you pay over the term of the mortgage will increase.
This will result in a slightly higher mortgage balance than if you hadn’t taken the holiday.
Think carefully about the best time to take a mortgage holiday so that you receive the help when you most need it. At the moment, some banks are asking people to delay making an application for assistance until they genuinely need it, rather than arranging a date in the future for payments to be paused.
Review your current mortgage
If you’re currently managing your finances well, one alternative to consider is remortgaging, to see if this can save you money.
Talk through options with your lender, use an online comparison site or consult with an independent mortgage advisor to make sure you’re currently receiving the best possible deal for your individual circumstances.
Take stock of household bills and insurance policies
The additional time at home during the lockdown may provide the perfect opportunity to examine your family finances in microscopic detail.
We’ve pulled some tips together here on how to save money on your breakdown cover, but think about all of your outgoings and check whether you’re paying over the odds for utilities, mobile phone contracts, as well as home insurance, car insurance or pet insurance.
If you’re already struggling to pay your bills, it’s also worth contacting all of your current service providers to ask whether monthly payments can be reduced or placed on hold for a short period of time, until you get back on track.
Again, think about how to delay this kind of help until it’s needed, as arrangements can usually only be made to cover short-term difficulties.
Manage your household budget
Cutting costs on breakdown cover and utilities is a good first step, but don’t forget to look at how to save money on food shopping as well.
Here are a few tips on how you can make your money go further.
- Buying only the staples you need, when you need them.
- Cutting down on pre-packaged convenience foods ready meals and buying more frozen, canned or dried foods.
- Making a list of essentials for each shopping trip, so that you’re not tempted by impulse buys.
- Reducing the amount of food that is wasted by eating or freezing leftovers (the BBC has a great guide for reducing food waste).
- Planning your meals for the week.
- Downgrading from premium range or branded products to basic ranges (often, the only difference is expensive packaging!).
- Downgrading to a cheaper or ‘budget’ supermarket.
- Not overserving food at mealtimes, and trying to stick to smaller portions.
- Buying ‘multifunctional’ products 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioners or multi-surface cleaners.
- Never shopping hungry, as you’ll be more tempted to grab high fat, high-cost foods.
Along with saving money on food, you can also make an impact on the monthly household budget by mending rather than throwing away damaged clothing.
There are also some brilliant budgeting apps available that will help you to look at the overall picture of your financial health in detail.
How to make money in lockdown
Once you’ve got a handle on your savings and outgoings, you might also want to consider ways to boost your income – this is easier said than done during lockdown!
But there are still ways you can make money from home even if it’s just a little extra to support your family.
Claim £6 a week when working from home
From 6th April 2020, you can claim back £6 per week to cover additional costs incurred from working at home such as heating and lighting. If your employer cannot pay you this additional amount you can still apply for this to be deducted from your taxable income with HMRC. Find out how at gov.uk.
Use the unexpected time at home to clear out attics, basements, garages, cupboards and wardrobes, photographing and preparing listings for unwanted items that can be sold when the lockdown is over.
Search the internet for paid online surveys you can take part in. The reward per survey may be small, but the amounts will soon start to add up if you can devote several hours a day to completing questionnaires.
Online tutoring or freelancing
If you are skilled or knowledgeable in a certain area, you can market and offer your services online. Some people are turning to tutoring via video link while others are offering writing, design, marketing, business management or life-coaching to others, all via the internet.
Taking on any kind of additional work may have tax implications, so it’s important to look into these before you embark on any paid opportunities.
Monetising a blog doesn’t happen overnight, but if you’ve always wanted to start writing a blog, now might be a good time to start building a following, and to express yourself during this difficult time. Take a look at some top finance blogs for inspiration!
However, you decide to spend the next few weeks and months, remember that the health of you and your family, along with the most vulnerable members of society, is paramount.
The advice is simple: stay at home. Surely the simplest way of all to save money!