There are many uncertainties related to our health, economy and jobs, but there are several things you can do right from home to improve your finances, protect your family and stress less about money.
Money-saving expert, Andrea Woroch, shares 7 easy money moves you can do from home right now to stretch your budget, earn some extra cash and create financial security for yourself and your family during the coronavirus pandemic.
Compare insurance rates. If you haven’t touched your auto or homeowner’s insurance plan since you first bought your car or home, you may be overpaying. Quickly compare insurance rates through free sites like Insurance.com. I recently shopped around and found a plan that offers more coverage and cost over $1,000 less! Raising your deductible can also significantly reduce your annual premium cost and reduce monthly payments.
Switch banks. If you’re paying checking account fees, it’s time to find a new bank or credit union. Checking account holders who don’t meet minimum balance requirements pay on average $15 per month. But, there are plenty of free options out there so shop around. Moving your savings to a high yield online savings account can earn you up to 1.85% interest on those savings. Don’t forget to link your savings to your checking account to avoid hefty overdraft fees.
Snag free home entertainment. Now that you will be spending more time at home, you may be adding more paid video streaming services and other entertainment subscriptions to your monthly bills. But, there are free options. For instance, many libraries offer free eBooks and digital video rentals through their digital platform, Hoopla Digital. You can also make a one-time purchase of an HD antenna and stream local channels for no cost. Otherwise, stream popular TV shows through ABC.com, NBC.com and other online networks.
Create an estate plan. There’s no better time than now during this pandemic to make sure you, your family and your assets are protected. Creating an estate plan online is easier than ever thanks to sites which make it fast and affordable to create a will or trust. Some sites offer step-by-step instructions and live chat support. Without legal documents, things become more confusing, stressful and daunting for your family if something were to happen to you. Your estate plan indicates who should take care of your kids (and your pets), how your assets and personal belongings should be distributed, how to pay off debts and how your health care should be managed when you can’t make a decision.
Rake in free money. There are many legitimate and easy ways to earn free money online when you’re home during quarantine or mandatory-shelter-in-place. For instance, you can make money taking surveys at sites like SurveyJunkie.com. You can also earn money for online purchases by downloading a cash-back tool like Honey or Swagbucks to your browser. This is also a good time to cash in on clutter and sell items at sites like ThredUp and eBay to avoid in-person transactions.
Lower your data plan. When was the last time you looked over your mobile bill to see how much data you’re actually using? If you’re paying for more data than you use, lower your plan. Even if you don’t typically use less, you can still lower your plan for the interim while you work from home since you can use free WiFi.
Transfer your credit card balance. If you’re carrying a balance on your current credit card, you should consider transferring the balance to a card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 12 to 18 months. This will give you some time to pay down the balance interest free so you can keep more cash on hand for the unexpected.
The extra money you save or earn right from home can come in really helpful during these uncertain and stressful times. Consider putting the extra money toward an emergency savings fund to help you get through any tough situation without raking up a credit card bill.
About Andrea Woroch
Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized money-saving expert, writer, speaker and frequent on-air contributor who is passionate about helping American families find simple ways to save more without radically changing their lifestyle. As a sought after media source on all things finance and savings, Andrea has appeared on hundreds of popular shows across the country including Today, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, CNN, Inside Edition and ABC World News. In print and online, her advice and articles have been featured in New York Times, USA Today, Money, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Forbes, Huffington Post, CNN.com and many more. She is also a regular contributor for a variety of personal finance and lifestyle sites including TheKitchn.com, US News and World Report and GOBankingRates, and she hosts a monthly money segment on KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles. Read more about Andrea at www.andreaworoch.comand watch her demo reel at https://andreaworoch.com/demo-reel/.