13 Apr Living Small During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Learning a No-Waste Lifestyle
- With millions of newly unemployed, it’s more important than ever to evaluate spending and find ways to “live small.”
- Cut costs by stopping all non-essential subscriptions and automatic payments, including premium services that offer free or lower-cost options.
- Reduce food, transportation, and discretionary spending to the bare necessities.
- Identify ways to lower utilities, insurance, mobile phone service, and other essential bills.
With the economic shutdown extending across the country through at least April, it is time to review your budget and find ways to eliminate or trim costs to prevent a personal financial crisis or limit damage. The federal government is offering some relief through one-time direct payments, expanded unemployment, and help for small businesses, encouraging owners to keep workers on the payroll. But for many families, that will not be enough.
The Federal Reserve predicts an unemployment rate of 32%, impacting 47 million workers, exceeding the unemployment experienced during the peak of the Great Depression. These dire predictions could bankrupt millions who are unable to adequately lower spending. Avoid becoming a statistic by taking measures today to live minimally until the crisis passes, and it will pass! It’s what we do now for later health and success.
What Bills Can You Eliminate?
Needs vs. Wants: Evaluate each expense and determine if it’s a necessity or a want, including monthly subscriptions. These low-cost expenses add up when you have multiple services. For example, streaming services might include $17 for Netflix, $13 for Amazon Prime, $55 for Hulu with Live TV, and $7 for the Disney Channel. Add them up, and you could spend nearly $100 a month on streaming services.
Save money by eliminating duplicate services, i.e., cancel all but one streaming service, terminate premium channels, or convert from cable or satellite services to streaming.
Review Subscriptions: In addition to television, cancel other non-essential services like your gym membership, paper delivery, gourmet meal delivery, and other monthly subscriptions, which can add up to hundreds each month. Most services allow you to pause your subscription without canceling and some are offering incredible deals for a few months free. This takes time to reach out and request but every dollar saved adds to your financial well-being. Schedule time to sit down without interruption and go through each subscription and see what you can do to eliminate it or adjust.
Where Are the Best Areas to Cut Spending?
Food costs have a tremendous amount of flexibility. Between restaurant meals, fast food, ready to eat meals, online food delivery services, cooking with gourmet ingredients, and relying on staples, a family of four could spend anywhere between $400 and $2,000 on food each month.
Widespread stay-at-home orders give you the opportunity and the time to prepare inexpensive home-cooked meals slashing your food bill by 50% or more.
Limit discretionary spending. Every family needs basic toiletries, but discretionary spending also includes many items that can wait. Forgo purchases for clothes, shoes, household goods, and other non-essential items, no matter how good the online deals appear to be. Let’s just state this again, because yes, there are great deals going on right now, but: ‘no matter how good the online deal is’ – if it’s not something you need, let it go and do not buy. The more you do this, the stronger you’ll feel and also, save!
Limited movement allows you to lower transportation costs. Many public transportation options now run on reduced schedules, and gas prices are at a decade low. However, auto loan payments and insurance remain a necessity for many families.
Scrutinize utility costs. While utilities are an essential service, there are many ways to lower the price for water, power, gas, internet, and mobile phone services. Complete a line by line audit on each bill to find ways to save. For instance, you might move from an unlimited plan to a restricted plan based on your average usage or change carriers.
Reduce the power, gas, and water bill by adjusting your usage. A few measures that can make a significant impact include waiting to turn on the air conditioning and taking shorter showers. And, by practicing these now, it will be easier to assume a non-waste lifestyle in the months to come that will always serve you and the planet well.
When times are tough, you can tighten spending by eliminating areas where you can and reducing costs where you can.
About Titan Consulting Group
Titan Consulting Group helps consumers evaluate various debt relief options and choose the right program that best fits their short-term and long-term financial goals. We work with consumers seeking debt consolidation loans, or who may be considering options like debt negotiation or bankruptcy. Through our network of partners, we can help you find the right solution to reach your goals and get back to living a life free from high interest credit card debt.
Contact us today at (888) 488-4517 or Apply Online now.