How To Save Money During Coronavirus – Using 30 Smart Tricks

COVID pandemic arrived suddenly and we all panicked including myself

Immediately people started to think how to save money during Coronavirus?

Those who managed to keep their work going on like Accountants and IT jobs noticed great savings without any efforts from their end

For myself, I noticed right away the before and after school programs are not paid anymore for my 2 kids plus all of my transportation

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how to save money during coronavirus

In this post, I will discuss ways to save money during Coronavirus

Before I start let me ask you

Why is it important to save money during pandemic?

Good question, if you are still having your job then corona pandemic is the perfect time to save money

But why? simply because you can't tell if you would be able to keep your job

You also cannot predict if there will be another future time good for you to pay your debt or even push money to any small loan you have

You don't have to worry about putting effort to cut many expenses as many things due to staying home will be eliminated

Take an example, the trip to gas stations, saving all the money for before and after school programs

Also buying clothes became completely unnecessary

Reduce your car premium insurance

When the pandemic started, I wasn't sure when it is going end

I realized after 4-5 months of not going anywhere I can save on car premium insurance

It was easy to suspend one of my two cars and to change the way I drive my car

I saved 50% annually of my car premium insurance on the spot

Cut your hair at home

I was not planning to save money during Coronavirus

It happened out of my control as all hair cutters were forced to shut down

Actually I realized it isn't about saving money but the haircut is no more different than the service I get at any hair cutter

Buy your items online

If you can buy everything online with no shipping cost so why you'll go to stores

That became possible because all stores reduced the minimum amount to qualify for free shipping

If you know what you need to get then save money and reduce the risk of infection

Stick to a budget

It is a good time now to start creating a budget to save money during Coronavirus

You need to use a budget like the one from my product page as shown below to control where to direct all the money you saved from all the shutdown activities

dated monthly budget page

It is important to control your extra money as without budgeting your income you can end up in debt

How could this happen? simply the idea of having a surplus after covering all expenses can lead to spending your extra money in unused products or services

Pay yourself first

Pay yourself first is a term I did not invent it but it is a well known one

Simply you deduct a percentage or specific amount from every paycheck

Why you do that? because you need to make sure you will be able to save

If you spend your income even with using a budget it may be out of control and you miss saving for the month

But if you save on every paycheck by asking your bank to automate transfer of certain percentage or specific amount then you guarantee you save no matter what

Transfer balance to 0% to pay debt

I always get every other months an offer to one of my credit cards to transfer all credit cards balance to one particular card with 0% interest for 12 months and sometimes 18 months

This would be useful if you are struggling with debt on your credit cards so you can consolidate all credit balance into 0% for specific time

That's why I thought about building a tool that can help you control your debt

kill your debt completely

Plan your meals with shopping list

Nothing is better than going once per week to grocery store and buying all your needs

I realized by using shopping list app like AnyList I have full control on my groceries

The best thing about shopping list apps is that you can easily integrate with Amazon Alexa or Google Home

I love it because you don't write your grocery shopping list

All you need to do is say the name Alexa followed by the grocery items you want to add to your shopping list

Buy generic brands

I always buy generic brands if I see them on the shelves

You won't believe me if I tell you very few products I go with the original brands

Usually because the generic brands are either dilute or not effective as original

On the other side, I save money even if there was no coronavirus

Apply the 30 days rule

Anything you want to buy especially a big item put it back on shelf

Go home and wait for 30 days

See if you really have the same passion to buy it

If you are I won't prohibit you

Keep your spare change in a jar

I know this trick is not going to save money in Coronavirus

But it can be a habit to practice all the time

Bring a jar and dump any coins you have in your pocket when you get home

Wait and see how much you will save after a year

Never be tricked by huge sales

To be fair I myself used to waste a lot of time looking at flyers

And recently with the rise of mobile apps, you can easily hunt discounts throughout all stores

Later I realized it is really a waste of money when you get tricked by any huge sales

Let's say you woke up on up to 75% sales on shoes, do you really need to buy new shoe?

In most cases, all of us get tricked buying things we don't need because they are cheap

Choose affordable rent or mortgage amount

If you really need to save money to pass time till after coronavirus ends then you have to choose affordable rent or pay a mortgage that does not keep you tight

How would you know that? if you have a budget especially like my budget sheet I use

You can easily come up with percentages of all expenses according to your total income

how to budget by calculating percentages of expenses per income
I am using hypothetical numbers not really representing my family income

Time for building an emergency fund

Nothing is better than knowing you can ready for any emergency that can happen out of your control like your car break and needs a repair

I always tell my readers to start building an emergency fund

It can be hard when you start but by using my free emergency fund saving plan below, this can make your life easy towards saving for your emergency

saving money for emergency fund if you're broke
use emergency fund to save money if you're broke

Plan for the Tax season

Once COVID pandemic started I realized I will get almost no refund in tax season

Actually the refund I get from before and after school program and commute to work are going to be dropped

I set my expectation on that and I diverted my payments towards increasing what I deposit in my retirement saving plan

By doing that you help compensate previous years and also you will get a tax refund

Cancel magazine subscription and GYM membership

Still want to keep your GYM membership during pandemic

Even if there is no COVID, you still can save money by buying the treadmill, dumbbells and Incline bench press you use at the GYM and use it in your basement

Also you can check if you can go to your local community center and see if they have these tools

Almost all community center have these tools

cancel your GYM membership to save money during coronavirus
cancel GYM membership to save money in coronavirus time

When it comes to magazines, ask yourself if you still read them

I am afraid you get your magazines and you look at the cover

You leave it sitting for long time and it ends in your recycle

Use major appliances on low peak and weekends only

As you may know during the day there are 3 rates of electricity charges

The cheapest one starts 7 pm till 7 am on weekdays while weekend is low peak all day

My question to you, can you adjust your schedule to operate your washing machine, dryer and washing machine during low peak period

This will save money all year and not during coronavirus only

Use LED bulbs and turn off unnecessary lights

When LED bulbs was released in the market it was so expensive

Right now LED bulbs almost the same price as regular bulbs

You will lose nothing buying all your bulbs as LED

But you will save a lot of money on your power bills

I really noticed a drop in my electricity charges when I changed all light bulbs

Use smart thermostat

Smart thermostat can do so many things more than you imagine

If you think smart thermostat has multiple daily programs to set

Not only that but some smart thermostat can adjust temperature automatically according to the weather outside your home

Also with the ability to control it from your mobile app and providing you with detail report of your daily, weekly and monthly consumption

Use coupons and cash back apps

I remember the old days of collecting all flyers to find coupons and discounts

Nowadays all mobile shopping apps can do this work easily for you

I encourage you to check these apps like Rakuten, MyPoints, TopCashBack, Qmee, ShopAtHome, Honey, Shopkick and Paribus as most of them give sign up cash bonus

For grocery shopping an app like Ibotta gives $20 bonus when you sign up while Fetch Rewards rewards you with $2 when you sign up

More apps like Receipt Hog, Cashout 51 and Storewards are grocery apps for you to check

You can also link your debit or credit cards and monitor what you buy with an pp called Dosh and get $5 sign up bonus

For saving on gas you can use GetUpside where it will give you 25 cents back on all gas receipts

Use cashback credit cards

I really love cash back credit cards where you earn cash by using your credit card buying specific category like grocery, gas or paying recurring bills

There are so many cash back credit cards that gives you 4% or more with annual fees

I applied for a credit card that gave me 3% on grocery, gas and recurring bills with a promotion of $60 annual fee and free supplementary card for spouse

You won't believe it if I tell you that I made $756 as cash back for the first year

Cut cigarettes, alcohols and soft drinks

If not for saving money during coronavirus then it is for your health

Cut cigarettes and see how your lungs will improve

When it comes to alcohols I will ask you to reduce alcohol from daily habit to drinking in occasions only

For soft drinks, there is no significant proof that it is unhealthy but I know a friend who really started to lose weight just for cutting soft drinks

Join wholesale club membership

Joining wholesale club membership is up to you

You have to calculate if you will save money during coronavirus or in general

I will speak about myself as I used to pay $60 and I buy so many grocery items in bulk that are cheaper than supermarket

I tried to upgrade my membership to pay $120 and get 2% cash back where I collected $86 cash back which means my membership costs me less than $60 as if I paid $34

Reduce take away to special occasions only

I don't need to tell you to reduce dinning out but also take away

Some families make it a habit to buy take away dinners as they are not ready to cook when they come back from work

Actually I am on the same boat like you but make a habit to cook 2-3 meals on weekend with big portion to eat them during weekdays

It is OK to buy take away food from time to time but don't rely on that as your daily routine

Replace your cable with IPTV

When I first heard about IPTV I thought it is a bunch of useless channels

Since it is very cheap I said why I don't give it as a try

Actually I did not need to buy the subscription as most of IPTV subscriptions allow you to get one day trial

In the end, I found I saved easily $60 a month for cable subscription

You won't believe me if I tell you I pay $40 annually

Giving up your home phone

It took me a while till I realized there is no point of using a home phone

Both myself and my wife use cell phones so we can be reached easily

If you feel like you need just in case an extra home phone then it will be better to go for VOIP phone

You pay using VOIP phone less than $40 annually which is around $3 a month

Consider buying used items

First, I am a big fan of Facebook Marketplace or an app called Nextdoor

This advice is not about saving money during coronavirus

But it works for me all the time

Actually it became a trend for me by selling and buying many things there

One day I was looking for a piano, I went and searched Facebook Marketplace and I found so many sellers offering their pianos for free but you arrange the pickup

Actually I thought what if I own a truck and move around neighbors checking these pianos and carrying those in good conditions

You would be able to sell them easily later on

My point is there are so many things sold there with a fraction of its original prices

Know the difference between your needs and wants

I know I discussed it so many times before but I would like to mention it again

Are you still confused between your needs and wants

Your needs are any thing that keep you alive like your shelter

I mean the place you live in represented in your mortgage or rent

Your transportation and your essential food

Anything other than that can be categorized as wants

Make money with side hustle and kill time too

I heard so many real stories for people who were able not only to save money during coronavirus

But to make money too in time of pandemic

Pursuing a side hustle made them able to make side income and kill time too

Some people decided to sell ready made meals where they take the orders on Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor

There are others who offered to walk dogs or to babysit toddlers

It doesn't matter what you know or do you just need to put yourself in front of those who need your service

Find cheap gas stations to save money

I know it is obvious if I tell you to fill up gas from the cheapest gas station

Question is where you find cheap gas near you as price changes daily

I have two gas stations nearby where one is always cheaper than the other

But this is not the case all the time as gas price is fluctuating many times a day

Anyway I found an app called GasBuddy where it lists all the gas prices near you

You can also combine it with an app called GetUpside where it gives you $25 cents on each gas fill up

Join 52 weeks money saving challenge

Have you read my previous post about 52 weeks money saving challenge

It is a fun challenge to take and you won't regret it

Simply it is a money saving challenge for an entire year

You start your year by saving $1 on the first week and then you increment it by $1 every week till the end of the year where you will save $52 on the 52nd week

money saving plan for $1,378- 52 weeks money challenge

You can do so many variations of this challenge like reversing the challenge and save the highest amount of $52 on the first week and decrement it as you go forward

Or you can mix one week high and one week low amount – it's all up to you


Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.