Saturday, April 18, 2020

How To Balance Your Family Budget During COVID-19

How To Balance Your Family Budget During COVID-19

It's a crazy time right now and in some way or other we are all being affected by Covid-19. The world economy is already taking the strain of the pandemic. There is so much uncertainty around and many families are worried about how they are going to cope financially right now. The effects of this virus will be unfortunately far reaching. There are some things you can do immediately to cut costs and make your money stretch further during the economic upheaval.  

Check Your Entitlements
If you have lost your job, or have had your income reduced, check immediately if your insurance covers you for unemployment. And if your position was cut, make sure you apply for unemployment benefits. There are many people applying so get your paperwork in so it can be processed ASAP. The government is also introducing a stimulus package to try and reduce the impact on workers and their families.  Check if you qualify and should expect a deposit or check.  If you have older relatives that you look after, ask will seniors get stimulus check too? Do your research and claim any benefits, tax breaks or entitlements you are eligible for.  This is why you pay your taxes so that there is a safety net if you need it. 

Reduce Unnecessary Expenditure 
Take a look through your bank statements and cancel anything that isn’t vital to your family. Monthly subscriptions may only cost a few dollars each per month but can really add up over the course of the year. Think about things like car radio subscriptions, dry cleaning, home cleaning services, meal kits, beauty subscriptions, and anything else that may be considered 'extra.' If you often order take out, reduce it to once a week or less. If you are working from home, you might be saving money on travel and eating out, try and put this money aside for unexpected expenses. 

It may seem harsh but by cutting your expenditure down to the bare essentials, you can potentially add things back into your budget after really considering if you need them.  Chances are, you won’t and you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money. 

How To Balance Your Family Budget During COVID-19

Meal Plan
I'm a big supporter of meal planning! We are really careful with our meal planning and try so hard to use everything we buy and not throw unused or uneaten food out. The average familwastes almost a third of the food that they buy. That is money straight in the trash. Even when money isn’t tight, that is a terrible statistic. You can’t be wasting money like this and it is an obvious area where you can cut spending. Each week, plan your meals, drinks, and snacks, then buy only what you need. Batch cooking meals and putting them in the freezer for a later date is a great way to use up ingredients and save money. And think about ways to use up ingredients that you may have extra of. I always throw wilted spinach or extra veggies in a soup or pasta dish, freeze overripe bananas for bread, or search for recipes to use other things I have sitting in the fridge before they expire. I've discovered delicious recipes that way! 

Use A Price Comparison Site To Reduce Your Bills
See if you’re paying too much for your utilities, phone, and insurance.  There are many price comparison sites that can show you the best deals around. You could be saving hundreds of dollars a month just by switching suppliers or bundling your services.  

How To Balance Your Family Budget During COVID-19
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Don’t Pay Too Much For Credit
If you have loans or credit cards, you might be paying high rates of interest on them. Try and find a 0% balance transfer deal or consolidate your debts.  Getting credit is going to be increasingly difficult over the next 12 months, so if you’re going to do this, do it quickly. And start paying them off! 

Take Advantage Of Payment Deferment 
Some mortgage providers and credit card companies are allowing customers to take a payment break to help them cope with any sudden changes to their finances. If you think that you might not be able to keep up payments, talk to your creditors and see if this is something they are offering.  This shouldn’t affect your credit record but make sure that this is the case when you’re talking to them.  

How To Balance Your Family Budget During COVID-19

It's a difficult time for many of us, but we can get through it! Many companies and individuals are trying their best to look out for those in need. If the Covid-19 virus and resulting stay-at-home order has you low on finances, I'm so sorry! I hope these tips are helpful!  

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