3 Ways to Save Money While Stuck At Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic
The world is racing to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In the United States, more than 400 people have died from it. President Trump has declared a national emergency, and across the country, schools, workplaces and restaurants have been closed until further notice. People are being encouraged, and in some states ordered, to stay home for non-essential tasks.
Many major companies including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft have closed their offices, directing their employees to work from home. If you are able to work remotely during this pandemic, consider yourself privileged compared to the majority of the workforce. Only 29% of Americans have occupations that can be performed remotely .
Over 54 million students have been sent home from K-12 schools across the country, and 45 out of 50 states have closed all schools. As the pandemic spreads, schools are unsure when students can safely return. Some schools have already closed their doors for the rest of the school year.
For seniors, people with compromised immune systems and lung or heart disease, staying at home is essential to avoiding exposure to the coronavirus. People over the age of 80 have a 21.9% chance of dying if they contract the coronavirus. With 93.5% of seniors living outside of assisted living facilities, it is crucial to curb the outbreak in our communities.
The coronavirus death rate for people under 40 years old is around 0.2%. Many younger people who contract coronavirus will only exhibit mild symptoms or may even be asymptomatic. The problem is that younger people are infecting older and more susceptible people. To prevent this, states are implementing stay-at-home mandates and strict social distancing orders.
It is uncertain when the coronavirus will be contained. Trump currently estimates that it will not be until at least July or August. Whether you are at home from work or school, make the most of this time and save some cash by tackling some important tasks. We have the top three ways to save money while stuck at home.
Open a Checking Account
Not only will you be able to pay bills more easily if you start banking, but it'll be easier to manage your cash if you learn how to open a checking account!
Tackle Some DIY Home Projects
While you are stuck inside your home, you can tackle some easy do-it-yourself home projects. In addition to giving you something productive to do with your extra time at home, these projects can save you money. Plus, they can improve the functionality, value and overall appearance of your home!
Install a Low-Flow Faucet
The average home spends around $1,000 on their water bill annually. Replacing your home’s faucets, toilets and showerheads can reduce your water bill by 20%. A simple start to this project is replacing the aerator tip of your faucet with a low-flow model. The EPA offers a “WaterSense” label to help you pick out products that are most appropriate for your home’s water sources. By decreasing water usage, you will save money and make your home more environmentally friendly.
Install a Water Filter Under Your SinkThe average American spends over $100 a year on bottled water. Not only is the packaging of bottled water incredibly wasteful, but you are also paying for a resource you already have readily available in your home. Many people find that their filtered tap water is just as satisfying as bottled water. Under-sink water filters can be found for less than $100 and you can install the system yourself.
Clean/Replace Your Furnace and Air Conditioning Filters
You can greatly cut down your energy costs by keeping up with your home’s HVAC maintenance. The average home needs to replace their filters every couple of months. Consider more frequent filter changes if you have pets who shed, as pet hair takes a toll on filters. A dirty filter will decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system and shorten your HVAC system’s overall life expectancy.
Maintaining your furnace should take only about three hours of your time a year and requires very minimal tools. Keeping your furnace clean and fixing problems early on can prevent a costly maintenance bill or even prevent a house fire from a faulty furnace. You should change the filter every month that you are regularly using the furnace.
Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
You could save $75 on your electricity bill per year by replacing your home’s most commonly used light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs. Energy-efficient light bulbs models include halogen incandescents, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs, energy-efficient light bulbs use 25%-80% less energy and can last 3-25x longer.
Energy-efficient light bulbs tend to cost more than traditional light bulbs. However, by installing energy-efficient light bulbs, you will save money in the long run. Energy-efficient bulbs will lower your electricity bill and need to be replaced much less often.
Improve Your Landscape
Interaction with plants releases stress and improves overall mood. Gardening can reduce both depression and anxiety symptoms. Many people find that gardening positively changes their outlook and quality of life. The simple act of planting and nourishing a garden will give you something to look forward to and a sense of purpose.
Tending to your own garden is also a great way to save money. If you are homebound as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, gardening may provide you with a responsible and safe reason to spend time outdoors. Studies show that time spent in nature is beneficial for both your mental and physical health. Plus, you will beautify your home and save money on produce if you grow your own vegetables.
Plant a Vegetable Garden
A vegetable garden in your backyard can yield more than $650 worth of fresh produce. With an initial start-up cost of less than $250, a produce garden is a great investment. There are many health benefits of gardening, too. Gardening helps you maintain a healthy body weight, burning around 330 calories per hour of light gardening. Gardeners are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables than non-gardeners. Gardening also helps to lower blood pressure levels and increases your Vitamin D production.
Gardening can be a fun, healthy and low-cost family activity while stuck at home. Through gardening, you teach your children to be more appreciative of nature and their food. There is an added benefit to gardening if your child is a picky eater. Studies that show children who garden are more likely to try foods they may have not eaten before. With so many perks for your health and wallet, gardening is a productive way to spend your extra time at home.
Do Your Own Landscaping
The national average for professional lawn care services is $136. If you’re looking for a way to further cut lawn care costs, you can do the work yourself. Mowing your own lawn improves the appearance of your property and allows you to spend time outdoors.
While you’re outside, consider planting a tree. Planting a tree can help reduce your home’s cooling costs by 35%. Deciduous trees allow the sun to pass through and warm your home during the winter. Trees can protect your home from winter winds by acting as a windbreak, potentially decreasing costly damage to your home during a blizzard. Trees improve air quality by filtering out pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air we breathe. Trees also reduce erosion and waterway pollution, which could in the long term decrease flooding. Best of all, a well landscaped home with mature and healthy trees can increase the value of your home by up to 10%!
Consider purchasing a house plant if you do not have the resources or space to plant a produce garden or tree. Not only will your space be more aesthetically pleasing but there are scientifically proven benefits to owning indoor plants. Indoor plants are proven to reduce fatigue, sore throats and colds, which are all symptoms of the coronavirus. Additionally, indoor plants boost productivity and creativity which are great for those of us working remotely.
Compare Insurance Rates
This is a great opportunity to reevaluate your insurance needs. Are you getting the best coverage and price for your various insurance policies? Consider each of your insurance policies, including health, auto, renters/homeowners and life insurance. If you are able to bundle these insurance policies, you may find yourself saving a lot of money, so start saving now.
Your health should always be your top priority. You may be in the market for a new health insurance policy if your hours have been cut as a result of the pandemic. More than half of Americans are at risk of being unemployed or underemployed because of coronavirus. If you are suddenly not insured or if you’re pregnant, you can enroll in a health plan outside the open enrollment period.
When was the last time you evaluated your auto insurance rate? Are you getting all the discounts that you can on your policy? If you’ve had any major life changes, you may qualify for new discounts. If you’ve changed jobs, you should check if your profession is offered a discount.
People with certain professions can enjoy discounts, including firefighters, police officers and doctors. Did you switch to an educational career recently? Teachers get the best-discounted auto insurance rates. If you’ve gone back to school or served in the military, you may also receive a generous discount on your premium.
Everyone is in disaster-mode right now, which might make you wonder what unforeseen events your homeowners insurance policy or renters insurance policy covers. Take a look at the coverage your homeowners insurance provides and consider whether or not you need to increase your coverage. You may want to add additional policies for disasters that are not covered by traditional homeowners or renters insurance, including earthquake and flood insurance.
There is nothing like a global pandemic to make you reevaluate your own mortality. As a result of the coronavirus, many people are finding themselves in the market for a life insurance policy. Some life insurance companies have reported a 50% increase in life insurance applications since mid-February. If you are one of the many Americans considering purchasing a life insurance policy, make sure you understand how you are covered for coronavirus.
The best time to begin the life insurance policy application process is now. Here are 25 questions you should ask a life insurance company when purchasing a life insurance policy. Enter your zip code below to begin shopping for a life insurance policy that will provide both you and your family peace of mind both during and after this pandemic.
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