For many Americans, financial security has become a concern during the coronavirus pandemic, and although most of us have received our $1,200 stimulus checks, we still need to save a buck.
Whether you’re in isolation, under stay-at-home orders and/or working from home, you don’t have to deny your family the little joys in life that keep everyone sane.
- Lowering Your Auto Premium
We don’t recommend canceling your auto insurance, but many of our cars aren’t being driven much and are basically sitting in the driveway. Some of the major insurance companies like State Farm and Liberty Mutual have started partially refunding premiums due to a decline in driving.
Call your car insurance representative, and ask if you can lower your auto premium for the time being.
You could also ask the company about offering extended grace periods if you can’t meet a car insurance payment. Inquire about waiving late fees and penalties, too.
- Getting A Prepaid Phone, Instead
Since many of us are at home now during COVID-19, the smartphone has become a huge aspect of our lives in connecting to our family, friends and co-workers as we socially distance ourselves. For example, cell carrier Verizon has been seeing 800 million phone calls a day, which is two times the number of phone calls made on Mother’s Day.
The need to reach out is extremely important now, but when you’re running up a pricey cell phone bill because you’re stuck in a contract, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
A prepaid cell phone plan is smart, cost-effective and an excellent option. “Switching to a prepaid carrier can cut your monthly phone bill in half without sacrificing coverage,” Christine Gallup, cell phone expert, told CNBC’s “Make It.”
- Stocking The Pantry With Staples
Shopping at the grocery store can be hit or miss these days, but stocking your pantry with key staples can help keep you in budget and create a variety of good, home cooked meals.
Culinary arts professional, Gloria Cabral, recommends buying canned and dried beans for making chili and other dishes. Pasta and Jell-O are also great to have on hand.
Soup is another inexpensive meal to make, and you can use anything handy in the fridge.
Cabral uses Lipton’s onion soup mix as the base of her meatloaf and never wastes food. She makes her own oatmeal and tosses in bananas that have browned.
- Staying Fit For Free
Chances are that many of you are locked out from the gym for now, and we hope that your membership isn’t being nailed to current charges during the shutdown.
You can still stay buff and strong by heading outdoors for exercise. Take a run, ride a bike, etc.
Check out fitness and training apps. Some of them feature custom workouts, coaching and music with free trials.
- Calling Your Credit Card Company
Don’t be afraid to ring up and ask for help when it comes to soaring credit card debt. You have nothing to lose, and most credit card companies are often willing to help out reliable customers. You just have to ask.
For instance, the company may let you skip a payment for a month or more and lower your interest rate.
- Go Digital Couponing
Whether you’re shopping online or going in person when you can, digital couponing is an effective way to stretch a dollar. Download the app of your store, and peruse their digital deals, and then, you simply scan them at checkout.
The Target Circle app, for example, is a popular one offering discounts from 5 to 50 percent off on a variety of goods like groceries, health items, toiletries and baby items.
Hey, it’s all about “the Benjamins” these days. A little creativity can save you money during the pandemic.