9 Practical Money Management Tips for Tough Times

Money Matters for Cinfed Members

9 Practical Money Management Tips for Tough Times

Posted on April 20, 2020
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By Coach Fin

Sticking to a budget and saving money takes discipline during the best of times. If your situation changed abruptly — as it has for many people during this pandemic — your money goals might have changed completely.

Even if your job is secure and you’re currently feeling stable, you might find yourself thinking more about securing your nest egg than making your next big purchase. With that in mind, here are some practical tips - large and small - to be a bit more frugal.


Talk to your financial institution

That’s right - your credit union or other financial institution should be willing and able to help. It pays to explore options early on, before you miss payments or find yourself deep in high-interest credit card debt trying to stay afloat. You might look into:

Having that conversation with your financial institution, though difficult, can help you find a solution and may result in financial assistance you may not have known about. Just ask.


Wait 24 hours before buying

You might be saving naturally since many retailers are closed. But some retailers are offering tempting online deals. The bargains might seem too good to pass up. Before you buy, wait 24 hours. That will help you decide if it’s really a “need” item or just something you’re tempted to buy out of boredom or a social distancing mood slump. Plus, waiting could mean you’ll find an even better deal later.


Unsubscribe from promotional emails

You can help remove temptation altogether by clearing out the sales and promotional emails you receive. The “unsubscribe” link is harder to find in the email than the giant sale banner, but it’s worth the effort. You can declutter your inbox and do yourself a financial favor in one fell swoop.


Stick to your grocery list

Whether you’re shopping in person or ordering online, take a few moments to jot down your shopping list. Check it twice and stick to it. Plan your meals and use coupons to save even more. You might be surprised at how a little bit of savings each time adds up.


Plant a container garden

It’s nearly planting season. You don’t have to have a big patch of land or green thumb to grow your own herbs and vegetables. You can start a container garden on a sunny patio or windowsill. It’s inexpensive, convenient, and you might find it to be a new low-cost hobby.


Try DIY cleaners

Many people embraced making hand sanitizer when supplies dwindled. You can also make your own laundry detergent and household cleaners. It just takes a few inexpensive products. It’s economical, effective — and educational for kids schooling at home.


Use the cash envelope system

Maybe you’ve heard of envelope budgeting. Now is a great time to try it. Make a separate envelope for different spending categories: groceries, restaurant deliveries, gas, donations. Take a look at your spending history and adjust for your current situation. Place your budgeted amount of cash in each envelope for the week or month. Spend only that amount. If you have cash leftover you can save it or put it towards next month’s budget.

Prefer to do your saving digitally? You can open multiple savings accounts under your main account and give them nicknames to help you track your progress easier. Designate specific amounts from your direct deposits for each account and watch your savings grow for a vacation, new car – or whatever your goals may be.


Try free virtual exhibits, concerts and workouts

Staying at home has fueled creative ways to enjoy culture and fitness. You can experience museums, zoos and theme parks around the world without spending a dime: MoMa or the Louvre in Paris…the San Diego Zoo…even Walt Disney World. Free virtual concerts cover virtually every taste in music. You can maintain your fitness habit or start a new routine with free virtual workouts.

Sampling so many new things has never been easier on the wallet.


Stay connected

It’s easy to get swept up in the news, your new routine (or lack of) and forget the little things. Stay on track with bill pay with online, mobile and text banking. Remember, Cinfed branch drive-throughs and nationwide network of ATMs remain open.

In these challenging times, you need to be creative and explore your options to effectively manage your money – and your time!


Cinfed Credit Union
4801 Kennedy Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45209
(513) 333-3800
Routing #242076656


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