The coronavirus not only has us distanced from others but may also have us distanced from our jobs in the form of a temporary layoff or reduction in work hours. Those of us living on a tight budget may see a need to tighten financial belts during this difficult time. It may be time to review your monthly budget and perhaps incorporate some of our tips below to cut your spending.
10 ways to cut expenses
- Unsubscribe from monthly subscription services. Video and audio streaming services, food-based subscriptions, magazines, and mobile apps are all examples of monthly subscription services that are billed automatically to your credit card each month. Take inventory to decide which you can do without. It’s a great way to cut costs quickly.
- Review your cell phone plan. Do you really need the unlimited minutes or current data plan? Do some research and compare options. Can you make do with a cheaper plan for the time being? Remember, you can always upgrade in the future.
- Buy generic at the grocery store and pharmacy. Staying away from high-cost name brand products can save you big bucks. Some items where it really pays to buy generic include cleaning products, over the counter medication, bottled water, pantry items, soaps, and shampoos.
- Investigate cheaper cable alternatives. Did you know that ditching the bundle deals with your local cable/internet provider can potentially save you money? Look into streaming alternatives like Youtube TV and Hulu’s live tv service. Both of these cost less than $60 a month and all you need is an internet connection. If you decide to go this route, you can potentially save even more by purchasing your own modem/router combo to avoid the monthly rental fees charged by your cable/internet company.
- Price Compare Insurance. When was the last time you shopped around for lower insurance rates? It’s the perfect time to get quotes on auto, life, and homeowners or renter’s insurance. Shop around by phone or online conveniently from the comfort of your home.
- Consider a mortgage refinance. Interest rates are extremely low right now. Refinancing at a lower rate can help reduce your monthly mortgage payment. Speak to your local credit union to determine if refinancing makes sense for you. To help, we’re reducing our everyday low mortgage rates by 0.25% and eliminating a $500 origination fee. Click here to learn more.
- Cook your meals in bulk and freeze for future meals. You’ve found yourself spending a lot of time at home and you might as well use the time wisely. Buying and cooking in bulk is another great way to cut expenses. Use your freezer and plan ahead.
- Cancel or temporarily suspend gym memberships. Gyms and other fitness centers are closed right now. It’s an ideal time to suspend or cancel your membership and put that savings back into your monthly budget. With the weather warming up, you can take your workouts outside and still get the exercise you need.
- Consider refinancing high-interest debt. Interest rates are at all-time lows. If your monthly debt payments are higher than you’d like, it might be time to look into refinancing that debt into one, lower monthly payment. Your local credit union is the ideal place to get a low-interest debt consolidation loan.
- Ease up on energy use. Days are longer and the weather is warming up. Turn those lights other electronics off when not in use. Turn the temperature on your water heater down. Turn that thermostat down as well, it’s nice outside. Replace older bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs if you haven’t already done so.
We hope these tips can help you reduce monthly expenses during this pandemic. Remember, Choice One will continue to serve the needs of our members and the community. If you find yourself in need of extra help, we offer low rate mortgage and auto loans for refinancing, and home equity loans, lines of credit, and VISA credit cards to access funds at low rates. Be careful and stay healthy, everyone.