The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of people to change their lifestyles dramatically. Specifically, the ongoing crisis had profound effects on people’s spending habits. These days, many are more circumspect about their expenses with the knowledge of how volatile the situation is, especially with mass layoffs and business closures everywhere.
If you’ve been thinking of ways on how you can put your savings to good use, here are eight ideas you should consider:
Get a retirement plan
Saving up and getting a retirement plan should be done as early as possible, particularly while cash flow is still solid. With this, you should consider getting a retirement plan at the soonest time possible. Among others, you should think about availing of a defined contribution retirement plan to enjoy a confident retirement with the full guidance of dedicated expert advisers. You should get your plan from a provider with a solid track record, so you can be sure that you’ll get full benefits as indicated in your insurance policy.
Cut down on utility consumption with a smart thermostat and energy-efficient home appliances
Pandemic or not, it is always a great idea to cut down on the gas, water, and electricity consumption to enjoy big savings. Cutting down on the use of utilities is also a way to live sustainably, given that majority of utilities use non-renewable energy to produce.
You can easily achieve low monthly power usage by investing in energy-efficient home appliances such as smart thermostats and LED lights. These may initially cost more than traditional appliances and lighting fixtures but the savings they can provide over time would more than pay for the higher price tags.
Set aside a contingency budget
The financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic caught a lot of people by total surprise. Many who found themselves struggling to put food on the table at the height of the crisis did not have enough savings for such an emergency.
If you don’t want to suffer the same fate should another crisis happen in the future, then you should set aside a portion of your monthly earning. Over time, your incremental savings will grow and be more than enough to help you survive if another similar crisis occurs.
Cook more, dine out less
For those who love fine dining or eating out in restaurants almost exclusively, the idea of cooking their meals instead might seem unappealing. However, bland as the idea may appear, it’s easily among the best ways of saving up and spending one’s hard-earned salary at the same time.
By buying the ingredients and cooking them, one can enjoy heartier and more substantial meals and spend less in the process. This would take some getting used to and eat out one’s time each day but it’s a wise way of spending particularly in the present situation.
Limit spending on clothing
Clothing expenditures easily eat up a big chunk of a person’s salary, given that it’s a basic necessity like food. If you really must buy new clothes, consider settling for unbranded ones instead of the branded items.
There are a lot of clothing lines that have competitive quality compared with designer clothing but with significantly lower price tags. You can also search your local thrift store to find great-quality clothes that are easy on the budget.
Consider making investments in cryptocurrency
The COVID-19 pandemic affected stock markets across the world, which caused great financial difficulty among investors. Surprisingly, cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin fared relatively well during the crisis even as traditional financial institutions were struggling.
As of December 2020, Bitcoin is valued at $19,000 — only a tad short of its all-time high back in 2017. Even billion-dollar companies and executives at big brands are trusting their guts and investing huge money in Bitcoin. With at least one analyst projecting Bitcoin to hit a staggering $318,000 by 2021’s end, there seems to be wisdom in banking big on cryptocurrency.
Pay off your outstanding debts
If you have outstanding student loans or credit card debts, part of your savings should go to their settlements. You can pay off one debt at a given time so you won’t have to put your finances on the red. Settling all of your current debts need not be done overnight; paying them off gradually will do just fine.
Start saving up for the twilight years
Aside from getting insurance policies, you should also start saving money to have a contingency fund that you can use for the twilight years. You can put your money on a time deposit to enjoy big interest rates or have regular savings account instead so you can use it when needed. Whichever way you wish to do it, saving up for retirement is a move you won’t regret.
With these options, your hard-earned money will surely be used wisely and benefit you greatly.