Nevada’s mandatory shelter-in-place ordinance is one of the most challenging obstacles the public currently faces. If you have lost your income or are facing economic uncertainty, you are not alone. What matters in this type of situation is how we deal with these challenges and how we restructure our personal and business spending to prevent bankruptcy. Now is an opportune time to learn frugality tips and other creative ways to help us ride out this economic storm.
Stop Unnecessary Spending
As with any budget, you have to find ways to cut out any unnecessary spending. Your first task should be to sit down and make a budget. If you already have a current budget, great, but throw it out. It is a new day with new frugal rules. Make sure to do this with your spouse or everyone who is part of the budgeting process.
In order to budget, you need to know two things-what is spent and what money is coming in. On a piece of paper, draw columns with the following headings:
- Food and drinks
- Non-edible dry goods and supplies
- Internet service
- Mortgage or rent
- Auto loans
- Student loans
- Vehicle maintenance and repairs
- Telephone and cell phones
Under each column heading, write down everything your household has paid for within the past month. Then, all people who spend money in your household need to write down everything they spend for the next two weeks (or until you get your next paycheck). This will be a guide as to what is truly needed and what can be eliminated. Here are some quick tips that can help you stop frivolous spending.
- Stop buying paper products. If you can use a washcloth or dish towel for cleaning and wiping things down, then you do not need paper towels.
- Buy staple products in bulk. If you have a wholesale store, such as Sam’s Club or Costco, you can save a lot of money if you buy the item in bulk and store it until you use up current stash.
- Do not eat out. Cooking from scratch is healthier and cheaper in the long run.
- Give yourself a haircut. Learn how to cut each other’s hair and other grooming needs.
- Pay online. Pay bills online to save the gas or a stamp.
- Learn to barter. If something needs repaired or replaced, maybe you have a skill or some items a handy person would trade for their services.