Seven ways to cut back your spending during COVID-19
If you're feeling the pinch during the coronavirus crisis, here are seven ways to cut back your spending on everyday expenses.
Speak to your landlord about decreasing your rent. If you've been a good tenant, this puts you in a better position. If you're a tradesperson, see if you can offer your services in exchange for lower rent. Your landlord might be better off decreasing your rent for the next few months and have the stability of someone paying, rather than risk finding a new tenant and having a potentially vacant property for an indefinite time.
There are energy providers that offer pay-on-time discounts, so make sure you pay the bill on or before the due date. Do your homework and see what assistant schemes are available. For example, residents in NSW could be eligible for a one-time payment through the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) scheme.
If you're paying for your internet and mobile phone separately, find out whether you can combine these into a bundle. You may be able to get a discount for being loyal to your provider and having multiple products with them.
Buy fresh produce at the supermarket and get takeaway once a month at most. It's always cheaper to buy groceries and make it stretch across multiple meals, even if the cheapest pre-packed meal costs you $8. Three pre-packaged meals a day at $8 each, seven days a week, costs $168 and will blow your $150 budget.
If you no longer need to drive, the estimated $200 a month you save could be put towards other expenses. Also consider whether you can push any car services or other maintenance out for three to six months.
6. Public transport
If you're living on either the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payment, try not to spend more than $40 a week on train and bus fares. This may not be possible if you're commuting to work daily but if your hours have been reduced, you're likely to travel less and that's more money in your back pocket.
7. Streaming subscriptions
Once you've watched everything you want to on one subscription, cancel it then sign up to the next one. Most platforms also offer a free trial, or you may be able to find a promo code online, so look at ways to cut back.
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