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Pandemic lockdowns can take a devastating toll on people’s finances. From losing the ability to work and earn, to expenses that keep piling up. Even when just staying home we still consume food and use electric power. So bills keep coming and the economy keeps moving, albeit slowly. What do you do if you know your emergency fund is growing thin but no money is coming in?  Read on to know how you can stretch your cash until life returns to normal.

Be stingy on power and water

A lot of people will learn to use things like electricity and water sparingly when it becomes clear these resources are neither limitless nor cheap. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use.  Avoid letting the water run before you’re ready to use it. Avoid baths and start reusing dishwashing water for other purposes, like cleaning floors or watering the plants. They’re small savings, but taken together can help you cut down on some of the bills you’ll have to pay when the lockdown is over. 

Limit takeout to once a week 

Takeout meals are great because you avoid cooking and washing the dishes, and you get to help other people keep their jobs. But if you are trying to save, takeout meals are among the easiest places to cut back, especially if you are used to eating takeout for most of the week. Limit yourself to one takeout meal per week so you can save for next month’s rent or the power bills. 

Take advantage of extended grace periods for insurance premiums 

Most insurance providers will extend the grace periods for premium payments so policyholders can direct these funds to more important things. Check your insurance providers for these extensions and grab the opportunity to pay your premiums at a later date. 

Cancel unused subscriptions and memberships 

Check if you have unused subscriptions or ones that you seldom use.  A quick look at your bills will tell you which are paid automatically each month.  Gym memberships can be cancelled for the months that they remain closed. Publications, music and tv services in addition to other monthly contracted purchases may be able to be cancelled or may allow payments to be extended. Check out their websites to see notices to this effect. Canceling monthly recurring costs is one way to keep essential cash in your account, ready to use for more important things during a lockdown. 

Get a side-hustle 

Lockdown doesn’t mean that job options will go down to zero.  Certain industries require more manpower to cater to the specific needs of customers that cannot go out of their homes. Websites like Fiverr and Airtasker can be good platforms to find a good side job that can help you earn additional money that can help tide your family over the course of a lockdown. 

A pandemic lockdown will deal a harsh blow to the financial realities of many individuals and families, but you are not helpless in the face of this unexpected crisis.  Put the tips above into action so you can stay afloat financially even during a global crisis like this.