Thinking about finances is always a smart idea. But in todays uncertain economic climate, due to the coronavirus pandemic, saving money is even more on the forefront of our minds. This post is focused on money saving tips that you should be doing now.
That’s right, even in this crazy time there are ways you can be strategic with your money. Next, I will provide actionable money saving tips that you can implement right away.
#1. Refinance Your Home
If you are a homeowner refinancing your residence could save you hundreds of dollars in your mortgage each month. Interest rates on home loans (as of press time when I am writing this) are at some of the lowest they have ever been.
According to the website Housing Wire this all time low mortgage interest rate fell to an average of 3.29% on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
A great website to check for daily updates on current mortgage interest rates is Bankrate. Bank Rate will break down rates on all kinds of different mortgage options such as the most popular 30-year fixed rate, 15-year fixed rate and so on.
My husband and I purchased our first home in January 2019. At that time our 30-year fixed rate was 6%. After only living in the home for one year we just refinanced and got a rate of 4.75%. The interest rate continued to drop, but we had locked in at the 4.75%. For us that saved us nearly $300/month on our mortgage.
So, if you are a homeowner, refinancing your home now with all time low mortgage interest rates is one of the best money saving tips on this list.
#2 Make Meals In Bulk
Making meals stretch through multiple left overs is a great way to save money. My husband and I have been utilizing our slow cooker and have been making large crockpot meals on Sundays and then eating that dish for lunches all week.
I used to buy so much food at work, I mean a lot of food. I realized when I added up my typical spending that I was averaging $400 per month on lunches, coffees and snacks at work.
When I think back now I feel that was so irresponsible. I could have been taking my lunch and coffee if only I was more organized with my meal prep. Once you get in the habit of meal prepping, and taking food to work, you will be on your way to saving money just like I did.
#3 Postpone Bills & Student Loans
If you are in a position where you have lost your job temporarily or permanently most utility companies, mortgage lenders, banks, and student loan companies are offering some type of relief.
If you have federally backed student loans through Fed Loan Servicing there is good news. The passing of the CARES Act has allowed borrowers to suspend payments through September 2020 with no penalty.
The best part is that there is nothing you need to do for this to go into effect, it will automatically be reflected on your account.
In addition if you are part of the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program, known as PSLF, all payments that are being suspended will count towards payments made to PSLF, even though you are not actually making the payment.
#4. Get A Car Insurance Quote
Since many people are on stay at home orders due to the coronavirus outbreak, less people are driving. This is an opportunity to shop around for a new car insurance quote and get a better rate.
Car insurance companies use criteria such as how many miles you drive to work, and if you are now working from home this can be a good time to explore my #4 money saving tip of getting a reduced car insurance rate.
#5. Don’t Touch Your 401k (Unless it is a last resort)
Experts advise at all costs not to touch your retirement. The markets ebb and flow, ride the wave. However, coronavirus is an unprecedented time for everyone.
That is why as part of the CARES Act passed by Congress is allowing people to withdraw on their 401K retirement plans without receiving the usual early withdraw penalty that is customary.
The popular magazine Fortune breaks it all down in their online article showing the positives and negatives of doing this.
The rule of thumb is leave your 401k alone if at all possible. The stock market, at some point will make a rebound. And when that happens, all of your shares will increase again.
But if you find yourself in a dire situation of not having enough money to eat than by all means use this opportunity.
#6. Take On A Side Hustle
In such a crazy time living in the coronavirus pandemic, lives have been flipped upside down and it can be hard to think of taking on additional work.
However if you have the capacity to take on additional part time jobs after hours or on weekends, in any spare time you have it can be really beneficial to building your nest egg.
#7. Sell What You Can
Start looking at your belongings and consider items you can live without, haven’t used for a longtime that you can sell and get money for in exchange.
Have you ever considered selling your car? Most people don’t because they need their vehicles, I get it. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t sell your current car and then buy a much more affordable used vehicle.
Think about it. If you have a car payment that is $500 a month. Why not sell it, and buy a reliable old used Toyota? It may not be the most glamorous but it would be nice not to make a payment each month.
Easier low hanging fruit items to sell would be clothes. There are a lot of websites that make it so easy to sell your wardrobe online and get cash payments such as:
In conclusion, we are all taking this uncertain coronavirus pandemic day to day. I hope that these money saving tips have given you some ideas of ways to budget, save and be as actionable as you can during this time.