By Rakin Hamad

During these uncertain times due to COVID-19, the old adage “a penny saved is a penny earned” has become extremely pertinent to households across the world. However, the adage is easier said than done. During this time, when the world has been halted, and families are quarantined, everyone should have the opportunity to deep dive into their financial situation and look for ways to save money. Below are three tips that will help anyone save money every month:

Eliminate Waste
This tip seems pretty obvious, but almost everyone is guilty of paying for a service or product that they do not use. In this digital age, one of the biggest culprits are monthly subscriptions for online services that you may have forgotten about. A lot of these subscriptions offer free 30-day trials that automatically become an expense if the individual does not cancel the subscription within the 30 days. The good news is there are applications that you can download that will help you manage your subscriptions. Truebill is an example of an easy and popular app that you can download to your phone to help you manage your subscriptions.

Lists, Lists, Lists
Impulse buying is another thing that almost everyone is guilty of. Lists are an extremely helpful tool to limit your spending and will lead to saving money every month. An easy suggestion is to keep a running list for your next trip to buy groceries. The most successful grocery lists consist of a working grocery list that you add to periodically. For example, if you go grocery shopping every Monday, you should create a new grocery list on Tuesday and add to it every day until it is time for you to go shopping on Monday. This is extremely helpful for multiple reasons. First, this type of list-making will help you create an exhaustive list and will lead to less last second additions and impulsive purchases. Second, this type of list will help you create a detailed plan for your grocery shopping trip. The grocery shops are set up to have you look at the products and to purchase things that are not necessary. With your detailed list, you will be able to focus on checking off the products on your list instead of looking at the products on the shelves. Finally, with a working list created over multiple days, you can then focus on searching for coupons and discounts for the items that you need. Less impulse buying, more focused shopping and more time to search for discounts are three benefits of list-making and all three will help you save money every month.

Limit Necessary Expenses
The two biggest necessary expense categories are food and utilities. The fact that you need food, water, electricity, etc. leads many people to ignore these categories when trying to save money. However, there are simple tricks and tasks you can do to save money in these expense categories. First, the easiest way to save money on your utility bill is to make sure that you have energy-efficient appliances. In your household, the dryer is the biggest culprit of using electricity. In order to save money on your monthly electric bill, look into purchasing an energy-efficient ventless dryer. These dryers re-use air while drying your clothes and are much more efficient than common vented dryers. Another tip to help lower your monthly electric bill is to replace your lightbulbs in your house with LED lightbulbs. LED lightbulbs use less energy to light up your home and will help save you money on your monthly utility bill. While expenses like utilities are necessary, the amount you are currently paying is not necessary. Lowering utility costs is an easy and effective way to increase your monthly savings.