Being in a lockdown presented uncertain times and there were lots of quick changes. Being newbies to this lockdown lark, I was initially thinking the quarantine would only last for a couple of weeks or months at most, and for a vaccine to be available and completely eliminate the traces of the virus. Ha!
Unfortunately, that was not the case, yet somehow we’ve seemed to have settled in this new normal setup. Things are still uncertain (when can I go on bloody holiday? when will I be vaxxed?) – and among those concerns are jobs and money. To make sure that our family’s needs are met during this unpredictable period, we budgeted our household finances…
A way we can keep ourselves safe from the virus is by staying at home. This has had a great impact on our household budget. The effect goes both ways – we were able to save money on fuel since there were limited occasions that involved us leaving the house; we also saved by not eating out on weekends or lunch breaks while at work. On the other hand, it has definitely increased our electricity bills…and the snack cupboard!
Given that most of us are now working or studying from home, the number of devices plugged in has contributed to our skyrocketing electricity costs. Since our devices serve as our lifelines for work and other purposes, we can’t really just turn it off once our day is over. However, by simply unplugging idle appliances such as hair dryers, unused chargers and the TV, we can prevent energy bleeding or wastage.
Stocking up on the staples
Aside from leading a healthy lifestyle to keep our immune systems strong, staying at home and limiting outdoor contact has been important. To prevent having to frequent supermarkets and stay within the budget limit we’ve set, buying all the things we need in one go can keep us going a couple of weeks and will let us save more and have all the staples available whenever we need them.
It is better to stock up on staples, including rice and flour, pasta, salt and pepper, and other condiments such as fish sauce, vinegar, and soy sauce, than keep making short trips to the supermarket.
Buy only the necessities
With the stress the past year has brought us, we’ve all been a bit lenient on ourselves, especially in terms of our purchases. Staying at home has given us ample time, and with idle time comes the urge to visit online shopping platforms. With just a few scrolls, it’s easy to spot a thing we like but don’t need and think that we deserve to buy it because of all the stress we’ve gone through. Or maybe that’s just me!? All the clothes and nowhere to wear them!
Making non-essential purchases, things we were only charmed into buying because of how it was presented on a shopping site and not because we need it can make huge dents in our budgets. To prevent impulsive buying, I like to put it in my online basket then click off. If after three days I’m still thinking about it, then maybe, it is a purchase I do really want!
Being prepared for anything requires discipline and loads of effort, which can sound exhausting, but when seen in the bigger picture, these are just small sacrifices that can help us get through these trying times.
*This is a collaborative post.