If the pandemic has you taking a closer look at your finances, you're not alone. Rising unemployment rates, stock market swings, and unexpected expenses can feel overwhelming right now. While your circumstances probably look different than your neighbor's, most of us are feeling a pinch when it comes to our financial well-being. But with every shift comes an opportunity to carefully examine how you can do life differently.
The Financial Dimension of Self-Care addresses how you allocate your resources. Here are 11 financial self-care strategies to help you save money:
Review your current premiums on your auto insurance, health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and credit cards. Then, compare rates. You may be able so save substantial amounts by bundling some of your policies or switching credit cards.
The next time you pick up a prescription, as your pharmacist for the cash price. As unreal as it sounds, sometimes paying cash for a prescription is cheaper than using your insurance. (I've had this happen to me personally.) Get into the habit of asking about the cash price before you complete your purchase. You might be surprised.
Capsule wardrobes are simplified collections of clothing and accessories that are much easier to maintain. To create a capsule, carefully select 3 to 5 colors to serve as your base. Then, scale down the number of items you own by deciding what you absolutely need and donating the excess. Capsule wardrobes make it easy to mix and match items so you can get out the door more quickly.
Even if you love to cook, the InstantPot* makes life so much easier. (I recommend the 6-quart over the 3-quart, even if you're only cooking for one.) Not only does this little gadget reduce the time you'll spend in the kitchen, it can also help you save on your power bill. And whether you're cooking for one or many, the InstantPot also allows you to prepare bigger batches so you can maximize the use of leftovers.
Another way to protect your financial well-being is to put a freeze on your credit. Transunion, Equifax and Experian are the big three credit reporting agencies, and freezing your account can help prevent someone from opening a credit card or taking out a loan in your name. While credit monitoring services do offer some protection, you only get notified AFTER there's an issue. A much better approach is to prevent someone from gaining access in the first place.
Neighborhood groups like Buy Nothing and NextDoor allow you to swap items with your neighbors without making purchases. This gift-based giving network also offers another way to stay connected to your community.
Tobacco products are a known cause of cancer, and quitting can reduce your health risks dramatically. But smoking is also an expensive habit, it also has financial benefits. If you're looking for ways to reduce spending, take a look at your habitual spending.
Make sure most of your belongings serve more than one purpose. For example, perhaps a serving platter could also serve as a wall decoration. Minimize the number of possessions you own by carefully choosing items that are multi-functional.
There are plenty of ways to create side-hustles these days. Take advantage of your online influence and start earning commissions by becoming an affiliate for the products you love. (HINT: Affiliate program links can be found within the footers of many websites.)
Minimize the need for stamps, envelopes and checks by opting for online billing or direct debits from your account. Set up revolving payments to save even more time. And don't forget to pay on time to avoid late charges.
Did you know you can request a reassessment of the tax value of your home? In most counties, you can file a protest of your home’s assessed value. (I've done this personally and it saved a LOT!)
If you're not quite sure where to start, begin by creating a simple budget that helps you see how much money is coming in and and how much is going out. Then, look for creative ways to reign in or reduce your spending.
Want more ideas to save money?
Download the Financial Self-Care Kit HERE.
*LivingUpp™ is a participant in affiliate programs, which means we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases on links to Amazon and other affiliate sites.