Even as the economy is looking to recover, the future at this point is still full of uncertainties. The market is changing, the demand and supply curves are still volatile. With the emerging norm, there can be changes in the economy — shifts in consumption, priorities, and the availability of resources. It is best to be prepared. Below are some usual expenses that a family can cut on.
Lessen your use of electricity
With most family members working or studying from home, transportation expenses will go down. However, your electricity will surely shoot up what with everyone using at least one gadget throughout the day. That’s not to mention the cooling devices you needed for the summer — plus, you will need heating systems in the coming months.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that while the pandemic resulted in less energy consumption for commercial and industrial uses, residential use went up. The recorded usage in April this year was 6% higher than the usual energy consumption during this month.
Nowadays, everything is practically electronic. But you can unplug for a while. For example, the grill is not just there for barbecue parties. You can use it for simple family meals. A perk to this method of cooking, grilling is healthier than frying — that is, if you don’t grease whatever you grill with fat and just allow the meat’s fat to melt.
Engage in offline leisure activities like reading, craft-making, etc. instead of spending your free time watching television or having the children play with online games all the time.
Have your gadgets repaired instead of buying new ones
We are so used to updating our gadgets that we even find excuses to discard our old ones. One common problem of phones and laptops, for example, is a damaged LCD. Most screen problems like this can easily be repaired — a part of the device simply replaced. Try to weather it out with your gadgets. They’re stronger than you think.
You will not only be saving your money. You will also be helping the environment. Think of all those resources that went into the production of a single phone — only to be discarded because of a faded keypad or a small scratch on the case. It’s too wasteful.
There are also discussion boards dedicated to trading in gadgets. You can check them out and see if you find a favorable transaction.
Do your home repairs and improvements
When before you were used to calling a repairman for all house issues, see if you can do the fix-it yourself. For example, you can do the porch repaint and the hammering of loose hinges yourself. It saves you money and it’s also a good way to take your mind off work occasionally.
If you are one of the lucky people who can work from home and have more free time, you can do some easy home improvements. For example, free up some floor space by getting rid of a standing coat rack and put up hooks along the wall instead. This is easy to do and the materials could likely be bought online. Get rid of the stacks of magazines and books on your work tables by putting up plain but sturdy shelves.
Grow your own food
Wherever your location may be, there will always be a type of vegetable, spice, or herb that can thrive. See what you can grow in your own backyard. If you do not have a backyard you can do container gardening even in small spaces. Check out ideas on vertical and hanging gardens. Instead of putting up ornamental plants, fill your walls with those that you can eat. You would get a decorative wall that improves the air quality in your house and at the same time could save you some groceries.
Be fashion sensible
The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful industries in the world. Trends come and go every season — that’s four seasons in a year — and fashion fanatics change wardrobes accordingly. You can opt not to join this lifestyle. Continue using your clothes even if they are no longer new. If you don’t want to be seen wearing something from an old fad, then don’t buy according to fads in the first place. Go for some basic clothing pieces and just accessorize or layer on pieces according to the seasons.
Some brands accept old clothes in return for points, which you could then use to buy new ones. Check them out and contribute to these companies’ sustainability efforts.
You could think other parts of your expenses and daily routines that you can lessen or put on hold for now — like maybe a regular hair treatment, a massage, specialty beverages. It is reasonable for you to want to tighten your belt and cut on expenses. This is not the time for extravagance.
Meta title: Cutting Costs in this Time of Pandemic
Meta description: As the economy is yet to strengthen, it is normal to be anxious. Give yourself some peace of mind by cutting on expenses and spending only on what is necessary.