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What Budgeting Tricks Did You Learn from the Pandemic?

Published: June 7, 2021
 

When COVID-19 hit, your priority was the health and safety of you and your loved ones. As the months went by, though, you may have grown concerned about your finances. Whether you were out of work or working to serve fewer people, things changed. And even with those stimulus checks, money may have been tight. Lockdowns might have been a blessing in disguise as there were just fewer places to spend money. If you found yourself spending less during the pandemic, before you revert to old habits, consider keeping a few of your new habits. The budgeting tips you learned from the pandemic can help you, your finances, and your future.

Eating at Home Is Cheaper

Lots of restaurants shut down so you probably didn’t have much of a choice. But did you notice, eating at home isn’t so bad? And it’s definitely cheaper. It’s also healthier. It might not have been what you wanted to do at the time but eating at home is a better choice for you, your wallet, and your health. The money you spend on food and coffee can really add up. That $5 latte you splurged on twice a week pre-pandemic turns into $520 at the end of the year. How could you better spend that dough?

The Less You Drive, the More You Save on Gas

During the quarantine, how much money did you save on gas? Since you didn’t drive much, if at all, you probably saved money that could then go toward food, clothing, or bills. You can carry this savings forward by using alternative forms of transportation. Take the bus, walk, or bike—which will also give you a daily dose of exercise—whenever you can. Good for you, the environment, and your finances.

You Can Entertain Yourself for Free

It’s fun to go to the theater, the mall, the aquarium, or theme parks. But during the pandemic, these places were shut down. Now that they’re open again, it may be enticing to shop or visit, but it will cost you a chunk of change. In quarantine, you entertained yourself at home with movies, TV, books, games, and puzzles. Now that you can go out again, there are still many ways you can entertain yourself for free:

  • Walk a nature trail
  • Visit a local park
  • Borrow new books or DVDs from the library
  • Attend free community events

It Never Hurts to Ask for a Deal

If you needed to make your dollars stretch this past year, you probably asked for a better deal on your cable and internet package or your phone bill. Maybe you asked your landlord for a rent decrease, or your provider for a discount on your auto insurance. It never hurts to ask for a deal, pandemic or no pandemic. You may end up saving more money than you thought you would. Even if a company can’t work with you, you can always compare rates to find the best deal. And don’t forget to drum up your own deals in the form of coupons or rebates.

 

The money you save now could help you plan for a new career in the future. At Charter College, we offer career training programs in Business, Health Care, Information Technology, and the Trades. You may also qualify for financial aid. Call us at 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.