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What Are the Fastest and Easiest Ways to Cut My Budget?

Published: October 5, 2020
 

Earning a degree is very rewarding, but the reality of student life is that money can be tight—especially now. Saving money during the pandemic may be especially difficult. Many workers have been furloughed, laid off, or forced to work fewer hours than before. If you’ve been financially impacted by the pandemic, it’s time to re-think the money you spend and what you spend it on. What are the fastest and easiest ways to cut your budget? Cut out the things you no longer need. Start big—and then get down to the tiniest details. Even a few dollars can add up and in your favor.

1. Renegotiate Your Rent

Your landlord might not be able to help you—or he might. You won’t know unless you ask. Explain your financial situation and ask if there’s any way to have a rent reduction. And if you stopped paying your rent when the eviction protections were put in place because of the pandemic, it’s time to get back on track. Although the eviction moratorium extends to Dec 31, 2020, if you can make payments, it’s in your financial best interest to do so now. Don’t ignore this. Talk to your landlord.

Look for Lower Interest Rates

Did you make any big-ticket purchases before the pandemic? If you’re paying interest on them, take a look at your rate and reach out to the lender to see if they’ll lower it. If not, go to another bank and ask the same question. Especially on a purchase like a car, you may be able to save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

2. Get on the Phone or Online and Make Cuts

Start with a check list of areas you can cut and then spend a day, whittling down your bills. Here are just a few areas where you might save money:

  • Cut Your Cable: Change your cable service to the lowest package or opt out entirely. Did you know that you can receive local channels for free with an antenna? If you’re a TV junkie, switch to a less expensive streaming service instead. You can still access a large library of shows and movies to stream that are updated often.
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Plan: Take a good look at your cell phone plan and think about what you actually use. Do you really need five gigs of data or can you get by with two? If you only use your phone to Zoom or FaceTime, can you use your computer instead? Or, look into different carriers that may offer cheaper plans for new customers or discounts for students. And why do you still have a land line?
  • Stop the Subscriptions: It’s fun to receive things in the mail, but it’s not a necessity. Clip those magazine and newspaper subscriptions and opt for online reading instead. Many periodicals offer their issues for free online, or you can browse their headlines when you follow them on social media. If you have a movie subscription, look for free entertainment at your local library. Most offer free DVDs and CDs that you can borrow. And say goodbye to the gym—at least for now. Find free ways to exercise at home, such as walking, riding, hiking, or using online fitness apps for yoga and workout routines.

3. Get Smart in the Grocery Store

Before you grocery shop, make a list and stick to it. That way, you won’t be tempted to buy all of those appealing but unnecessary snacks. Plan your meals for the week and save leftovers to make another meal. Pro tip: Look at your grocery store’s weekly flier. Use the sale items to plan your meals accordingly. Also, buy generic alternatives instead of the big brands. The quality is just as good, but they’re less expensive. And don’t forget those coupons! You can find them on the store’s website.

 

As you cut costs, don’t forget that there some areas that are worth the investment like your education. Charter College offers certificate and degrees in Business, Health Care, Information Technology, Veterinary Assistant and some Trades. And once you land a job in your new career field, you may be able to slowly incorporate some of those non-essentials back into your budget.

Fill out the form or call 1-888-200-9942 to learn more.