Top Chef Meals: Budgeting during COVID

Budgeting during COVID

As Covid-19 continues it’s become more and more important to budget your finances for the long haul.

THE STORY: Thanks to Covid-19 many people are out of work or have had their work reduced. While you may have budgeted early this year for normal times, now things are different. Covid-19 has changed the way we budget and, like many others, you might be having some trouble adjusting. Here’s how to get back on track.

HOW TO BUDGET DURING COVID: Here are 4 tips to get you started on making your budget work.

1. Figure out your cash flow. The first thing you need to do is figure out just how much money you now have coming in. Figuring out any losses will help you with the next steps.
2. Itemize expenses. Start with coming up with a list of necessary expenses (rent, utilities, etc) so you know just how much you HAVE to spend each month. Then go through your statements to figure out your spending habits. Oftentimes, you’ll find you’re spending more money than you think on small items (your daily cup of coffee or entertainment).
3. Decide what you can give up. After you’ve figured out your spending habits, see if there’s anything you can cancel to save money for now. Being at home more often necessitates a need for entertainment, but do you really need Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO? Pick the one or two you love the most and cancel the others for the duration. Or take a look at your credit cards, find the one with the smallest balance, pay it, and cancel it. These small things can add up to big savings!
4. Find ways to save. Since people are stuck at home more, that means less driving. Some insurance companies will offer savings the less driving you do, so check with yours. See what entertainment options you can share the cost of with others - if you love books, see if a friend will loan you some of theirs via Kindle or if a friend has Netflix/Hulu, see if you can split the cost and be added to their account. Maybe you find yourself spending more at the grocery store because you’re cooking more often. Try a meal delivery service instead and see the savings add up!

THE WRAP-UP: Covid-19 has changed the world in many ways including how we should budget. Figuring out what you have and where it’s going will help you figure out more ways to save in the long run.