Over 38 million jobless Americans filed for unemployment back in May according to the Washington Post. As the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the country, many Americans find themselves without a job as companies continue to lay off employees left and right.
With the U.S. economy slowly trekking to pick itself up from the deadly disease, it is important to be financially prepared should you find yourself without a job during the pandemic or at any point in your career.
5 financial tips to saving money when dealing with an economic crisis, whether worldwide or personal.
Give Your Auto Insurer a Call
While staying at home may be less than ideal for many Americans, one advantage is that there are now less people driving on the roads. So if you’re driving less, why should you pay more for car insurance? Some auto insurers agree. Allstate recently extended their Shelter-in-Place Payback plan to include June.
The plan offers customers an additional 15% payback of their monthly auto insurance cost. Geico also issued The GEICO Giveback, which gives existing and new policy holders a 15% credit on 6-month and 12-month policies.
If your auto insurer has not offered you any discounts, take the time to inform them that you are driving significantly less due to the pandemic. Even if they don’t have a formal policy in place, your insurer might set up a discounted package that adheres to your current driving habits during this time.
Kick Curbside Pickup to the Curb
Even if you haven’t had a slice of Sicillian in a while, eating home cooked meals is not only better for your health, but for your wallet. You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay with world class ingredients to whip up delicious, affordable meals for you and your family.
Stop N Shop offers easy stay-at-home recipes using ingredients that you can find right in the aisles of your local supermarket. If you’re concerned about grocery prices, signing up for membership and rewards cards can help you save a substantial amount on food items. You can also consider registering for digital coupons from your local supermarket.
Set Up an Automatic Savings Account
Before you pay anyone else, you should always pay yourself first. Although people may know the importance of saving, many don’t know how to. While you could manually transfer money from your checking to your savings account, some financial institutions are now offering automatic savings plans to eliminate the hassle of having to remember to move your cash from one account to the next.
Bank of America recently introduced their Keep the Change Savings Program, which rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically transfers the change from your checking to your savings account.
If your bank doesn’t happen to have an automatic savings plan, there are financial apps you can download for free that do offer this feature. MoneyClouds helps make saving easier by setting up an automatic savings plan centered around your personal needs using a savings calculator.
Pay With Cash
It’s so easy to buy that shiny new gadget you know you don’t need when you’re using an equally shiny credit card. It’s much harder to hand the cashier cold, hard cash than it is to just swipe your credit card.
You can’t physically see the money leaving your pockets the same way you would if you were paying in cash. The next time you’re considering spending $59.99 on a new sweater, take out that amount in cash and see how you feel.
By paying with cash instead of credit, you will begin to watch your spending habits a bit more closely.
Collect Your Coins
Remember when you were little and you had a piggy bank? Then when the ice cream truck came you discovered you could afford at least twenty Fudgesicles just from months of saving all the spare change you found?
Today, you might not be looking to buy ice cream for you and everyone in your complex, but by putting all your spare change in a jar and allowing it to build up, you never know what you might do when you see how much you have saved over the years.
You may even want to donate it all to charity, such as Rick Snyder did when he collected $21,000 in ten years just from collecting spare change he found during his daily walks.
With or without an economic crisis, you should always prepare for your financial future. Jobs and careers come and go whether voluntarily or involuntarily, and in unprecedented times such as these, being financially responsible is highly important and will give you leverage once turbulent times do pass.