Not only did the Coronavirus knock 2020 off its feet regarding the health crisis, but most of America is also living in a financial one. The economic stability in the United States is making residents uneasy, having them question the future of their income and savings. However, there are always ways to ensure that your money will be well spent and won’t go to waste. Looking for ways to achieve your financial goals? Here are some ways to guide you:
Make a Budget
If you haven’t done this in the past, now is a good time to start. You can do this month by month, or lay it out for the year to come. Making a budget will help you compare how much you make versus how much you spend. You get to decide on your budget what you’re spending money on, and get a rough idea on how much you’d like to spend. This will keep you on track and let you adjust your spending to where you need to be as opposed to where you are.
Find Ways to Save on Groceries
On average, the American person spends over $2,000 per year on food, and that’s only for a family of three or less. The more you have in your family, the more you spend. While grocery shopping can add up, it is a necessity. According to Kupino.com, shoppers who use coupons can save an average of $30 to $50 a week, which is roughly $1,560 to $2,600 a year.
Another way to save on groceries is to wait on products before purchasing them, that way you’ll be able to price compare with other stores. Kupino also states that even though price watching may be a long-term strategy, shoppers can save up to 30% on average just by watching the price of products fluctuate when they’re on demand. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping for foods like vegetables, pasta, coffee, and other popular products.
Have an Emergency Fund
This is the extra money you save in case something goes wrong. For example, an economic crisis. If possible, do not live paycheck to paycheck, as steady payment always isn’t guaranteed. It’s important to have money stowed away just in case that next paycheck doesn’t come. Although you may never expect something like that to happen, it’s always best to plan ahead, just in case. That way, if a hardship ever does happen, you are prepared with that extra bit of money you saved away.
Make Your Home Energy Efficient
You may not realize how much energy you use throughout the day. That is until you get your monthly utility bill. Now that many people are working and schooling from home, it can be easy to get lost with leaving lights on, using a bunch of electronics, and constantly using appliances like the heater, air conditioning, and other energy-guzzling tools. When possible, turn off appliances that require heavy energy use. If you’re not in a room, turn off the light. If it’s a crisp day out, open the windows.
Be aware of “vampire appliances,” which are appliances that use electricity even when they are “off.” Typically, that means these appliances are on standby mode. For example, a TV, electric clock, or anything with a timer takes up electricity even when you’re not using it because it’s running in the background. According to the Department of Energy, vampire appliances make up for about 10% of the energy used inside the home.
Travel Planning and the Advantages that it can Bring During Pandemic
While the Pandemic put a hold on a lot of traveling, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan out your next trip. There are many discounts that both airlines and travel companies are offering, and you can use that to your benefit.
Many travel companies also offered other forms of compensation for a canceled trip. Localgrapher, as well as other travel platforms, for example, launched gift card campaigns. This means that if you purchase the service right now, you can get a significant discount on the service that you can use on a later date. If you’ve already budgeted travel expenses before the pandemic hit, you can purchase gift cards and take advantage of other discounted offers from the sellers that you were originally considering either way. That way you are below your original budget and can use the cards and discounts at a later time.
The travel platform focusing on experiences worldwide, Tripduck, also confirms that many tour providers and services adjusted to the current situation of the pandemic. If you plan something for later this year or even in 2021, you can take advantage of the current offers and use them next year. Plus, you can support the travel industry now when it’s needed, making it a win-win situation.
This year has been mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. Although this may seem like a no brainer, you’re going to want to remain positive throughout your money-saving process. There’s no doubt certain days will seem harder than others, and it’s natural to worry about your income versus your spending, but you must remember to not dwell on things that are out of your hands. You must remain focused on your goals and achievements.
There is some truth to writing down your goals to make them more likely to be accomplished. In fact, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down on a regular basis. As this has to do with how your brain functions, this keeps you motivated to pursue your goals.
Stop Making Excuses
This goes hand-in-hand with staying positive. It’s clear that the pandemic has taken a toll on the average person, however, you cannot let that stop you from getting what you want. While this is probably like the biggest challenge you’ve faced, there have been other hurdles you’ve dealt with. If you continue to push back your goals with excuses you keep making up, you will never accomplish what you’re setting out to do.