Quarantine sucks but here are 6 ways it has helped me improve my budget strategies and saving money during quarantine.
COVID19 threw a lot of people’s finances and financial life out of sync.
Fortunately, the government came to the rescue with the CERB program but the situation still changed the way a lot of people budget.
Personally, I had to adjust my budget a little bit to account for the offline income I lost.
Despite that loss, my budget has still seen some benefits over the last few months of being mostly indoors:-
Saving Money During Quarantine
1. Transportation Costs
Since I’m no longer going all over the place, my transportation costs have pretty much dropped to zero.
I used to load a monthly pass on my Presto card but I walk to the grocery stores these days and take a bus only occasionally.
It’s summer anyway so walking is a great way to get some much-needed vitamin D and stay fit.
2. Saving Money on Coffee & Bagels
I don’t work out of coffee shops or the library anymore so spending on coffee, bagels, and croissants has dropped to zero.
I also invested in healthy meal planning and meal prep to optimize my budget.
You can check out how to get started with healthy meal planning on a budget HERE.
3. Elimination of Social Activities
Social activities such as going to the movies, picnicking jaunts, and shows also dropped to zero.
4. Less Travel
All the money I was planning to spend on gallivanting in the Caribbean this year has remained in my account.
5. No Shopping
Since I’m not going anywhere or hanging out with anyone, I haven’t shopped for things like clothes, shoes, jewelry, make-up, etc since March.
While I didn’t spend a huge amount on this before quarantine started, it’s still a nice chunk of change to hold onto.
6. Beauty Treatments At Home
All the lady stuff like mani-pedis and salon trips have been removed from my budget. I became solely responsible for those during the quarantine.
Even with the easing of some of the restrictions, I’m not comfortable with visiting beauty parlors yet.
I doubt I’ll be going into establishments like these for the rest of this year.
A round-up of the savings above meant more wiggle room in my budget for bulk groceries and tracking down hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes.
I also tried to support small businesses by ordering take-outs and other essential stuff here and there.
The good thing is my TFSA and RRSP are already fully funded for 2020 so I don’t have to worry too much about saving up for that.
Looking Ahead for 2020
Despite my finances being on a good footing, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the air.
No one really knows what’s going to happen for the rest of this year or 2012 either.
Keeping this uncertainty in mind, any extra money that shows up now goes into a high-yield savings account I opened a few weeks ago.
I will write more about this savings account in a few weeks.
One of the best ways to financially navigate these trying times is by taking a long hard look at your budget and devising a new strategy that works in the current situation.
You can also check with your financial institution for temporary relief if you have any personal debt (but read the fine print on this).
You can find out all the relief programs for individuals and businesses in Canada during this period HERE.
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