“In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
The coronavirus pandemic has throttled the global economy and has enforced lockdown.
During this time, people are going through a challenging period because of the financial crisis, which is worse than the 2008 recession.
However, this also allows us to ascertain ways to manage our finances better, which could be beneficial even after the end of this pandemic.
1) Monthly Budget Planning
A great model for your monthly budget is the 50/30/20 rule. 50% of your salary should go toward things you need (E.g., Food, rent, education, EMIs, etc.), 30% on something you want (E.g., Restaurants, movies, non-food shopping, travel, etc.).
The remaining 20% allocated to safe investments like debt/equity mutual funds can be used as a corpus for large expenses (E.g., Health issues, College fees, Weddings, etc.).
Indeed it’s true that your freedom to leave the house and spend money on what we want was significantly diminished because of the pandemic. This extended lockdown will help you evaluate what you NEED versus what you WANT.
2) Learn to cook at home
Instead of ordering food from Zomato or Swiggy, try to learn cooking at home. By doing so, you’ll be less dependent on getting cooked meals delivered from restaurants, which will lead to savings.
Post the pandemic; you can continue making home-cooked meals and enjoy exotic dishes with your family on the weekend.
3) Ditch multiplex for OTT Platforms
With the emergence of OTT platforms, the multiplex tickets and overprices snakes only feel like burning a hole in your pocket. During this global pandemic, many latest movies are directly being released in OTT platforms, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hotstar.
Moreover, the subscription for a year for such a platform is less than a movie ticket price. Churn out some popcorn and soda, and enjoy a movie night with your family at home by watching movies on OTT platforms.
4) Cancel unnecessary memberships
If you have memberships in clubs and the gym, but you hardly attend the events. Consider opting out of clubs and gyms during this pandemic. Doing so can save you a fair amount of money.
Also, if you have paid for premium version of softwares, but you don’t use those often. Try the free version of those softwares, or look out for alternative softwares online.
5) Sell your car
Save money in this pandemic by cutting expenses that are not required. For, e.g., if you have more than one car, consider selling them. It’s easy to ride to your work by taxi or Uber.
Or you can trade your high-maintenance car with an affordable one. Being free from mortgage debt is a lot more appealing than buying a nice car anyway. Plus, your wallet and your psyche are going to thank you later.
6) Sell items that you don’t use
Consider selling those times which you never used or rarely used at your home. You may have bought those thinking you’ll use them ‘someday,’ but there is no point in hoarding things you’ll hardly use.
Sell those items on Quickr or any other second hand selling website online. In this way, you can save a good amount of money. Or, you can donate them to charity. Help the needy as they are suffering more in this pandemic.
7) Adopt Frugal way of thinking
Create a frugal way of thinking about all aspects and find ways you can save money. Identify the credit card / online payment systems that offer you the best cash returns or incentives and use them as a priority.
Purchase non branded and less expensive garments & accessories that appear to be of the same quality as premium brands. Apart from a haircut, most beauty parlor procedures can be performed by yourself at home.
Boost your home air conditioner’s temperature to at least 24 degrees Celsius; your body can adjust to a moderate temperature. Adjust all light bulbs to cost-saving LED or CFL bulbs.
Take all appliances like TVs, A / Cs, Laptops, etc. out of standby mode, as this could increase your monthly electrical bills. Keep looking for more of these small ways to save your money. All the little savings are going to add up to a lot after the lockdown is over.
8) Start freelance working
Apart from cost savings, there are many ways you can raise your monthly income by starting an online company or doing online work in the evenings or weekends outside your 9-5 business hours.
Several websites like Upwork & Fiverr let you run projects from content writing to architectural projects. Many sites allow you to provide online tutoring and other online work opportunities. All these don’t need any money, except for your time.
9) Invest in stocks
Pay heed to the words of Warren Buffet, who once said that the best time to buy is when everyone is selling. The stock markets will be very unpredictable in the coming year.
However, due to the general climate of uncertainty, most people are selling their stocks, and valuations are low. If you have a surplus of capital that you do not use for household expenses, you may want to buy supplies from high-quality companies regularly as market dips.
This will give you an incredible return on your investments over the long term.
10) Buy from street vendors
Have some compassion for the less fortunate who can’t handle the storm as smoothly as you do. Try purchasing supplies from small shops and street vendors because they need your money more than big grocery stores.
Remember, this challenging time is going to go away at some point. Take advantage of this short period to be financially more potent and provide you with life-long benefits!
(Read: How to manage your money)