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Small Ways to Save More Money During a Financial Hardship

06/08/2020 - Financial Wellness & Life Planning, Budgeting

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We’ve all been there—layoffs, unforeseen medical bills, economic uncertainty. Financial hardship is a part of life for many people and it comes as a shock when you’re living comfortably one day and on shaky ground the next. We’re sure you’re doing everything right—dipping into your emergency savings, taking advantage of economic relief money or even applying for a HELOC or personal loan. But sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference. Read on for quick frugal living tips that will help save more money.

Tips to Live Frugally During Hard Times

Modifying your budget during a financial hardship doesn’t mean being cheap. It’s about being smart and resourceful. An emergency savings account is also important during these times. When you’re trying to stretch your budget, dinner out and happy hour will most likely be put on hold. So, we’re going to take a look at how to cut back even more with critical expenses, and the first place to start is with one of a household’s largest expenditures: groceries.

  • Start Planning Meals in Advance: Lack of preparation is one reason a household’s grocery bill is so high. When you take the time to prep meal plans and shop for those ingredients, you’re shopping with a purpose rather than overbuying.
  • Compare Weekly Circulars: If you’re in the habit of shopping at expensive grocery stores or buying without a meal plan in mind, chances are your grocery bill is pretty high every month. This is the time to start comparing grocery circulars. Shop at stores with the best deals and take advantage of seasonal produce.

Another way to cut back and stick to a budget during times of financial hardship is to look at your monthly transportation and utility costs.

  • Monthly Leases: Do you lease a parking spot every month at your workplace? If you’re going through a tough financial period, you may want to reconsider. It may be time to look seriously at mass transit in your area.
  • Evaluate Auto Deductions: Again, if you’re driving less during this time consider reaching out to your auto insurance company. Insurance companies often reward customers with deductions for low mileage use.
  • Reach Out to Utility Providers: During times of financial or economic hardship be sure to reach out to your utility providers. Many providers give allowances for services if you can prove financial hardship.

Implementing a new budget to save more money may also mean cutting back on luxuries you once didn’t think about every month, like streaming and subscription services. It’s time to take a long, hard look at how many streaming services you pay for each month. That means cutting back on certain TV or music subscriptions. But it doesn’t stop there.

Are you a member of a wine club, food service or clothing subscription? One of the ultimate tips to live frugally is evaluating your wants vs. needs. This may be a hard adjustment, but cutting back on these services for just one season can help you save more for critical expenses.

Make Your Hobbies Work for You

How to save more money? Make more money. If you have a hobby or a side hustle, there’s no better time to start cashing in on your talents. If you’re a crafter, open that Etsy shop. For side hustlers, put together a website and grow your business. You can also use this time to start a new hobby, like gardening. Victory gardens are a great way to organically grow your own produce while saving even more money on your grocery bill.

It’s never easy when you find yourself in an unfortunate circumstance like a financial hardship. But with the right tips to live frugally, you can stick to a budget and make it out the other side with a solid skill set that will help save more money over time.

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Content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of WesBanco.

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