If you’re one of the millions of Australians working full time from home in lockdown right now, you could be in the privileged position where you’re saving money.
Think about it: you’re not spending on daily commutes. You’re not going to the pub. You’re not eating out. Your gym membership is on pause. The things you normally spend money on without thinking, are all on pause.
So while you might have a little extra going into your savings, what if we told you that you could be saving even more? That now could be the perfect opportunity to set yourself up on the road to financial freedom? Piqued your interest?
Ahead, financial expert and managing director of business management consultancy LCI Partners, Gerry Incollingo, shares four ways you can save while in lockdown.
Double Check Your Direct Debits
When it comes to saving money, the first thing you should do is go through your credit card and bank statements and see if there are any unnecessary expenses coming out of your account. While you are at it, also check your PayPal, app store and anywhere else where subscriptions may have been set up.
Where many people lose money is in subscriptions that they have opted into. Often someone will download an app not realising that it charges you on a regular basis, and months later you discover that it’s been taking money out of your account without your notice.
Have a good look at any direct debits that you may have set up and forgotten about. See if you can get rid of inactive memberships, especially while you are in lockdown, like gym, club and sports memberships. Also, try and narrow down subscriptions that are similar to one another. You don’t need Netflix, Stan, Prime and Binge. They are all streaming services. Just choose one.
Cut Your Online Delivery Spending
Whether you’re regularly getting your food delivered through take-away services or are purchasing too many clothes online, lockdown is a great time to stop purchasing unnecessary items and save that money.
Food delivery really creeps up on price, as some venues charge more for their food to cater for the portion the service takes from them, plus you are often paying a delivery fee. You often end up paying 2-3 times more than what it would cost if you cooked at home.
Cook at home, stop buying any food you don’t need (like junk food) and try to avoid shopping for clothes until you have somewhere — other than your own home — to wear them.
Be Mindful of Your Electricity Bill
Fortunately, even in winter, few days are cold enough in Australia to have the heater running all day. But that said, it’s still a good idea to be mindful of how much electricity you are using, especially if you are at home.
Does every light need to be on in the house or will one in the room you are in do? Do you need the heater or TV running all day? Do you need to use the dryer for every load of washing?
Be mindful of the electricity you are using, especially if you are at home all day. That is when you will use it the most.
Create an Extra Income Source
If you have some time on your hands, there is no reason to why you can’t be generating more money if you have the time to do so. Can you walk your neighbour’s dog? Can you rent out your spare room on Airbnb (if it’s allowed)? Do you have a skill, such as graphic design, copywriting or photography that you can offer through sites, such as Upwork or Freelancer.com?
Finding creative ways to make more money is a great solution, especially if you aren’t currently working full-time and need something to do during lockdown. It’s a win-win.