Tips for saving money while staying at home

(WTNH)– These days working from home and social distancing guidelines are still keeping many people at home. 

And for some, it can be an opportunity to save money that would have otherwise been spent.

John Caserta, Chartered Financial Consultant, gives tips on how we can all save money while sheltering in place. Caserta suggests:

· Review your budget.

o Look at your monthly expenses by printing out the past three months of bank statements and credit card statements and compare them with statements from the same time in 2019.

o What has changed? Specifically look at:

  • § Going out to eat
  • § Dry cleaning personal services (haircuts!)
  • § Gas/travel
  • § Utilities
  • § Groceries
  • § Clothing

o Determine the net change – some categories may have increased, others may have decreased.

o Avoid online binge shopping – “retail therapy” can be expensive!

o Be mindful of how much you really need to spend in certain categories, like groceries an household items

  • Cut out the non-essential items

o Identify overlapping expenses

Moving forward people should really focus on a few things: 

· Track expenses.

o By tracking expenses you can at least have a general idea of how much you spend on a monthly basis.

o Understand it will change from month to month. If you find yourself spending less than anticipated, put that difference into a savings or investment account.

o Identify patterns that can help you prepare.

· Automate savings.

o The easiest way to save money is to never see it! Automate savings and start with small amounts. Increase those savings incrementally and use things that will make it easy to make those changes like mobile apps.

· Small steps can lead to big changes.

o Ease into savings plans by beginning with smaller amounts.

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