5 Things I Cut Out to Save Money During Pandemic … and 5 Things I Didn’t

We don’t really know what the long-term economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are going to be. I certainly don’t know what the long-term or even short-term financial issues are for myself. Therefore, it seems better to save money during pandemic in any way that I can. Nevertheless, there are certain things that I spend money on that it didn’t make sense to cut out.

How to Save Money During Pandemic

Here are the five things I quit to save money during pandemic shelter-in-place time:

1. Lyft Pink

Just before this had all started, I had signed up for Lyft Pink. It offers a variety of benefits, but the only reason I had signed up for is the 10% discount. The service itself costs $19.99 per month. However, since I was spending more than $200 per month on rides, it was a savings to me to sign up. That said, I’m no longer taking Lyft rides that often. Therefore, I canceled this unnecessary service during the pandemic / shelter-in-place period.

If I had another form of transportation that cost me monthly, I’d likely quit that as well. For example, if I had a monthly bus pass but was no longer going to a job that required me to take the bus every day, then I might have skipped that this month.

2. Yoga Membership

I have a monthly membership at a yoga studio. I had been considering quitting it anyway and just paying class-by-class because I wasn’t using it enough to make the monthly fee worth it. Since the studio is closed now anyway, I finally canceled that membership.

They do offer online classes during the pandemic and if I thought I’d use them then maybe I would continue to support my yoga studio in this way. However, I know that I won’t use them.

3. Housekeeping Services

I actually don’t know if my housekeeping service is even offering visits during this time. I would assume not. But I didn’t even look into it. As much as I would love to have someone else clean this place, it isn’t a necessary expense. It’s a bonus. I can’t afford that bonus right now. Plus it seems prudent not to let people into the home at this time. So I canceled my bi-weekly house cleaning service.

4. Monthly Loan Payments

I took advantage of the opportunity to “skip a month” of credit card and loan payments. Many of my lenders offered this chance to waive payments. There are pros and cons to this choice. Some of them continue to accrue interest even though I am not making a payment right now. Nevertheless, it’s worth it to me this month because the savings allows me to catch up some on my other bills.

5. Unnecessary Purchases

Believe me, I have definitely wanted to buy things I do not need. It is so tempting to just load things into my Amazon cart. My area hasn’t been impacted by delivery problems. I could get random things delivered to me later this week. They might even give me temporary joy. But now is not the time to spend money on new clothes and other things I don’t need. So, as hard as it has been, I’ve made it a habit to ask myself every time: “is this an essential purchase?” Usually, I don’t buy the thing.

Money Well-Spent During Pandemic

Here are five costs I continue to incur during the pandemic that I feel are well worth it:

1. Food Delivery

I get food delivered from a few different sources. I get Farm Fresh To You deliveries weekly. Those include produce as well as dairy, bread, and some snacks. I also get Thistle ready-made vegan meals. Plus I use Postmates to get restaurant delivery. I, personally, am continuing to use all of those. I didn’t like going to the grocery store before this, so of course I’m not interested in going right now. The delivery cost is well worth it to me.

2. Massage Membership

The aforementioned yoga studio also offers a monthly massage therapy membership. I get a discount on one 90-minute massage per month. I always use that so it’s well worth it to me. Of course, during the COVID pandemic, the massages aren’t available. However, the studio is allowing the massage to accrue without expiration. Therefore, I decided to go ahead and keep paying for this membership for now. I’ll be able to make use of it when this is all over. Of course, if I needed to cut personal costs further, I could let this one go.

3. Patreon Memberships

I support a few indie artists through Patreon. Some of them offer rewards as in-person events. In other words, I support them monthly and exchange get tickets to their live events. Some of those artists will offer online events instead of in-person ones during the pandemic. I may or may not attend those. Either way, I’m keeping up those small monthly payments. I believe in supporting independent artists. If I can afford to do so, I will.

4. Streaming Services

I have had the same streaming services for years: Hulu, Netflix, and Philo for television viewing an Spotify for music. (I’m a cord cutter so I don’t pay for regular cable TV.) There are a lot of great free services available these days. I could switch. But I like my services. I’m using the same amount, if not more, than before. Therefore, I’ve opted to keep these costs for the time being. That said, I no longer have Amazon Prime (because I cut it out before all this) so I’m not adding movies for rent there, through YouTube, or via any of the other channels in excess of what I pay to stream each month.

5. Deliveries for Pets

Just like I kept my own food deliveries, I kept up deliveries dog food. They get their fresh-frozen food from Nom Nom Now and The Farmer’s Dog, plus they get dry food from Chewy. They also get lots of treats and toys from Chewy. I reviewed those to see if I could cut any out to save costs. But the dogs are feeling the effect of all the weird energy in the air, so I determined that keeping all that stuff the same for them made the most sense.

What are you doing to save money during pandemic? What do you think is worth continuing to pay for?

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