Every little bit counts—especially now when many are facing new financial challenges due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Being proactive, doing your research, and rethinking how you normally do things may help you better weather this storm.
- Apply for any help you’re eligible for. Again, this varies depending upon where you live, so research what you qualify for and submit your applications as soon as you can. In Canada visit The Government of Canada, in the UK visit HM Treasury, and in the United States visit FEMA for more information.
- Watch for price gouging and scams. It’s an unfortunate fact that some unscrupulous businesses try to profit during times of crisis. If you see examples of this, and it’s considered illegal in the country/state/province where you live, consider reporting this activity.
- Make your own when you can. Bread, pizza dough, pickles, salad dressings, and condiments are generally much cheaper to make than to purchase in the store. Yes, some of these take a bit of time, but in addition to saving you money, homemade always tastes better too! Check out these recipes for inspiration:
- Maintain your yard. It may sound like an odd suggestion, but keeping up with mowing, trimming, and weeding will ensure that you don’t have a huge job to do later in the season—one that you might need professional help to deal with. Plus it will help keep destructive critters from taking up residence in your yard (or garage or attic!), and keep the mosquito population down.
- Clean your appliances. Style at Home explains why, and how, cleaning your fridge, oven and cooktop, air conditioner, furnace, and dryer can help save you money by making your appliances run as efficiently as possible.
- Safely give the gift of your time. For birthdays and other special occasions, instead of purchasing a gift, offer to babysit, dog walk, mow lawns, pull weeds, clean house, run errands—or whatever your gift recipient needs. The gift of your time is more precious than anything you can buy! Given current social distancing requirements, it’s a good idea to make homemade gift certificates indicating that you’ll help in-person as soon as it’s safe to do so.
- Rent a room in your home to a college or university student during the school year. Again, when it’s safe to do so, if you have space and can tolerate a stranger in your home, it can be a great way to earn some extra money. For pros, cons, and important tips for landlords, visit Small Business.
- Always ask for fees to be waived. No matter what service you’re signing up for, always ask if they will waive (or at least lower) sign-up fees and any other extra fees associated with your account. They may say no, but it’s always worth asking.
- Set up automatic transfer. Have your bank automatically transfer a set amount of money from your checking account into a savings account at the same time each month. You’ll be saving without even having to think about it, and as little as $50 a month (just $25 each pay day) will turn into $600 (plus accumulated interest) over the course of a year.
- Clean your car’s air filter. According to The Simple Dollar1, a clean air filter can improve gas mileage by up to 7%, saving you $100 for every 10,000 miles you drive. Check your owner’s manual and visit Simoniz for step-by-step instructions.
417949B CAN/US 04/20