Many people’s savings rates increased during lockdown due to being stuck at home. Now that the economy is reopening, you might find it harder to stick to your budget. Here are some strategies to help you save money during the reopening of the economy so you don’t jeopardize your financial progress.
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1. Use a Travel Rewards Credit Card
Now that the CDC has given the all-clear for vaccinated people to travel, you’re probably itching to take a vacation. Getting a travel rewards credit card can help you earn cashback on your trip that you can save or put toward future travel.
If you’re planning to fly, look into an airline rewards card like the Delta SkyMiles Platinum. If you’re taking a road trip, look for credit cards that give you cashback for hotel stays and gas.
2. Invest Your Stimulus
It’s tempting to spend your entire stimulus check now that the economy is reopening. But adding it to your emergency savings or investing it in your retirement account will put you in a much better financial position.
If you want to treat yourself, try spending just 10% or 20% of your check and investing the rest.
3. Cut Back on Eating Out
Another way to save money on reopening of the economy is to cook more meals at home. After being cooped up for a year, you’d probably rather go out than eat in. But restaurant meals have a 300% markup, so they can really put a dent in your food budget.
Instead of eating out several times per week, try to cut back to weekends only. Your pocketbook and your waistline will thank you.
4. Save Money on Transportation
Some employers like Uber and Microsoft are already welcoming workers back to the office. Unless your company has given you the option to work from home permanently, you’ll probably be resuming your commute soon. That means you’ll be using a lot more gas.
- Use apps like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas prices
- Buy discounted gas station gift cards on GiftCardGranny to save money
- Use a credit card that offers points on gas
- Increase your gas mileage by driving slower and avoiding idling
When the CDC says it’s safe, you could even carpool with another fully vaccinated coworker to save on transportation. You can also use these savings apps to automate your savings for this type of expense.
|App||Fess and minimum:||Best for:|
|Digit||30-day free trial period. $5 per month||Setting aside automatically|
|Acorns||$1 per month||Spare change investing.|
|Qapital||$3 membership||Letting you set rules to automate savings.|
5. Thrift Your Work Clothes
Many people (myself included) gained weight during lockdown. If you’ve packed on some pounds, your work clothes probably don’t fit anymore.
You’ll need to wear something more professional than sweatpants when you return to the office. But you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a brand new work wardrobe.
Instead of heading to the mall, try shopping at thrift stores or on clothing resale apps like Poshmark. They often have workwear that was never worn or gently used for a fraction of the price.
6. Don’t Renew Your Gym Membership
Gyms have been allowed to open in many places with restrictions. But if you want to save money on reopening of economy, don’t rush to renew your membership.
Instead of spending $50 per month on workout classes, try exercising outside. Now that the weather is getting warmer, you can get a great, free workout by going into nature.
Try hiking a local trail or walking around a park. If you own a bike or kayak, you’ll have even more exercise options.
7. Cancel Your Netflix Subscription
We all relied on our Netflix subscriptions to keep us entertained during lockdown. But now that you can safely hang out with your friends, you probably don’t need it anymore. Consider cancelling some of your subscriptions to put some extra money in your pocket.
8. Stop Getting Groceries Delivered
Many people got their groceries delivered during the pandemic as a safer alternative to shopping in person. But if you used a service like Instacart, it’s likely you were overpaying.
According to NBC Los Angeles, Instacart marks up items anywhere from 15% to 17%. And that’s without factoring in the tip and service and delivery fees. If you’re vaccinated and can visit the grocery store safely, it may be cheaper to do so.
9. Keep Cutting Your Own Hair
Another way to save money on reopening of economy is to cut your own hair. Lots of people learned how to cut their own hair during the pandemic out of necessity.
If you keep doing it yourself instead of going to the salon, you’ll save a lot of money. The average men’s haircut costs $28 while women’s haircuts cost $44. Considering most people go for a trim once or twice a month, that’s a good chunk of change.
If you didn’t pick up any hairdressing skills during quarantine, see if you can get a friend to help you out instead.
10. Pick Up a Side Hustle
If you gave up your side hustle so you could quarantine properly, now may be a good time to pick up another one. As the economy reopens, businesses will need workers to pick up shifts. Once you’re vaccinated you could get a side job and use the money to pad your savings.
You might be tempted to overspend in the coming months as the economy reopens. But if you stick to your budget, you’ll make a lot more financial progress.
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Check out these helpful tools to help you save more. For investing advice, visit The Motley Fool.