During this COVID19 pandemic, life has become a little hard for most people. Do you feel the strain?
With the kids at home, it feels like a prolonged December Holiday. Some have lost their jobs while others have had their salaries slashed to almost nothing.
How can we cope with the unending demands and the monthly bills? Such situations can lead people into depression.
To cope financially during an economic meltdown, you need to adopt living on a tight budget. That means planning your finances and cutting down on unnecessary costs.
To help you live on a tight budget, I have compiled a few tips for you. Explore them below and let me know what you think in the comments section.
Use the table of content below to jump to specific sections of the article. I'll cover:
1: Change your choice of Television Service.
If your TV service is one that requires you to do monthly payments, it’s time you consider making some changes. Most digital TVs have free channels that come along with them. If you must, then buy a free-to-air digital box that has a variety of channels and requires no monthly payments.
This will help you to cut down on your monthly expenses and instead use that cash for other necessities.
2: Check on your food expenses.
Since you now spend more time at home, reduce your spending on take-aways and eat-outs. It is a lot cheaper to cook for yourself at home. The prices charged at restaurants for just one meal can probably cater for your groceries for a couple of days.
Another necessary move will be reducing your meat intake. Instead of having meat in every other meal you can at least reduce your intake to once or twice a week. Supplement it by sampling a variety of vegetables which can make your meal delicious.
Think of this move as more of a step towards adopting a healthy lifestyle so that you can implement it with ease.
3: Avoid taking things on debt.
If there is one lesson that the Covid 19 pandemic has taught many of us is that one should never bank on tomorrow because tomorrow is never a certainty. Therefore, learn how to live within your means.
Budget with what you have and not what you would wish to have. Make it a priority to pay off your existing debts but be sure to pick a payment plan that works best for you. It is advisable to avoid situations that will strain your budget.
4: Cut down on Big Expenses.
It is important to cut down on expenses such as fuelling a car and unnecessary traveling. Consider using public means since the cost of fuel has increased and you are working on a tight budget.
Avoid traveling for leisure and instead, look for other activities that will not require much spending.
By adopting budgeting habits, you will ensure that you’re spending money where you need to.
5: Make use of cash in hand to cater for your daily expenses.
This will enable you to track your expenditure patterns. When using cash, it is difficult to spend carelessly and it’s easy to track down avenues through which you are losing your money. However, sanitize your hands after handling money.
If you can not keep to the discipline of carrying a sanitizer with you, you might need to consider using your phone to pay your bills but exercise discipline. Instead of choosing payment options that will charge you a fee, go for free payment modes.
6: Don’t give in to all your urges.
It is wise to delay gratification. This will help you to curb the habit of impulse buying. Before buying an item take a day or two to debate within your mind whether or not you need the item.
If you can survive without the item then do not buy it. It is not a necessity. This will not only help you right now during this pandemic period but also in your whole life. If you master this skill you will be mindful in your shopping expeditions. Doesn’t that sound good?
7: Do your own personal grooming.
Learn how to plan your laundry and house cleaning. Do it yourself, unless you have issues that hinder you from taking up such work.
For instance, you can:
- Wash your hair at home before visiting a salon
- Blow dry your hair at home
- Wash your car at home instead of regular visits to a car wash.
- Cut down your visits to dry cleaners.
This would be incomplete if I failed to share with you this one bonus point:
8: You should change your mind set about money.
Avoid comparing yourself with others. It is advisable to cut your coat according to your cloth. Quit the habit of emotional spending. When you are upset or excited, direct your energies on other things other than spending.
In a Nutshell:
It shouldn’t be stressful living through these hard times. Making a few adjustments such as picking a cheap television service, monitoring your expenses on food by picking the choice of making homemade foods (a very healthy option) as well as drawing up a budget before making huge purchases can be very helpful.
Your view about money is also very critical when it comes to living on a tight budget. Remember that change begins in the mind. Change how you view money. Money is meant to help you meet your material needs (not emotional).
Find a different way of handling your emotional issues (meditation and prayer can be a good place to start). Robert Schuller once said that Tough moments do not last long but Tough people do……Be that tough person and bravely face these hard times in a smart way.
I’m interested in what you’ve been doing to stay sane financially while living on a tight budget during these rough times. Let me know in the comments below