The COVID crisis has been going on for so long, it almost seems like we will never be out of it. The good news is, we will make it out okay on the other side. To help make sure that stays true for you, you need to know how to maximize savings during a pandemic. The goal here is to build a budget that will protect you from going under while the economy recovers from the disease, and the measures made to respond.

Document Your Income

The first step in maximizing savings is to build the budget. To do so, you have to document all the money you have coming in. This means your main job, your side gigs– everything. Mark down what you take home after taxes every month, and if it varies, jot down the low end of what you make. This will ensure you down plan for the best and end up at a deficit. We want to plan for the worst, and be happily surprised by surpluses along the way.

Separate Money You Need to Spend

The next step is to document you spending. Separate spending into two categories: Needs and wants. Needs are anything you cannot go on without. These are things like rent, groceries, transportation, utilities, and internet. The wants include eating out (even at fast food spots), toys, cable, and anything else that you won’t exactly go under without.

Stop Eating Out

Once the budget is in front of your, you will probably notice that you are eating out more than you need to. While buying more groceries can seem expensive, it costs a lot less than constantly hitting the drive through for lunch. Get fresh ingredients to make sandwiches, chicken and rice, and other cheap meals that keep well in the fridge. This will ensure that you always have something prepared, or ready to prepare, in the fridge when you are hungry.

Cut Your Cable Subscription

In general, people pay way to much for cable. When compared to internet TV services like Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV, people often vastly overspend for a less convenient product. Not only are these services cheaper, but they offer better and more streamlined portable experiences on your phone or tablet. Plus, it helps that most of them offer free trials, so you can get yourself a free month of TV to try it out after you cancel that massive cable contract.

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