The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a host of changes in the global economy. While some developments were distressing, not all of them were negative. Though markets wavered and unemployment numbers rose, new positive spending habits materialized for the American consumer.
According to Chris Farrell, Marketplace Senior Economics Correspondent, “More people are embracing frugality or thrift…the personal savings rate, it has already jumped from 8% in February to more than 13% in March 2020, and I don’t think that’s an aberration.”
Perhaps now is the ideal moment to reassess how we save and spend our money. Whether you are still planning your move or already have residence in the United States, here are uLink’s 7 Tips to Save Money in the U.S.:
Eliminate Your Debts
Monthly debt payments will always be the primary roadblock to saving money. Why? Debt essentially robs you of any income you generate. The faster you pay off debt, however, the faster you’ll be able to actually start saving money.
If you are planning to move to the United States, eliminate your local debts now so you can have a fresh start when you arrive in America.
Secure Your Healthcare
Visits to the doctor’s office can add up, especially in America. Even a routine check-up can have hundreds of dollars of unexpected costs.
Protect yourself against surprise bills by securing reliable health insurance before you move. Click here for more information on essential healthcare resources for immigrants, and learn how you can enroll in individual plans, gain access to premium subsidies, and more.
If you’re still planning your move to the United States, we highly recommend you sell your furniture and other major items.
Not only will you save tons of money, but you will liberate yourself from the commitment of moving your belongings across borders.
Keep the things that money can’t buy—like family photos and keepsakes—but sell the big items. Trust that once you get to the United States, you’ll be able to find quality and affordable furniture that can be delivered right to your new home.
Shop Smart at the Grocery
American grocery stores can be overwhelming. It’s no wonder, then, that the average American family spends around $647 per month on food (according to the USDA)
It doesn’t have to be so expensive. While grocery aisles may offer a tantalizing array of foods and name brands, be disciplined with what you put in your cart. Those little extra items you grab each trip can add up to hundreds of dollars wasted every year.
Save money on groceries by planning out exactly what you need each week. Know what’s in your fridge and pantry so you don’t buy more of what you already have. And when you get to the store, always choose store brands over name brands.
Cancel Extra Subscriptions
From Netflix to Spotify, gym memberships, beauty boxes and more, it’s clear we live in a subscription economy.
While it’s impossible to cancel them all, start by turning off “auto-renew” whenever you make a subscription-based purchase. This prevents one-time buys from becoming a monthly charge that eats away at your savings.
As for streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime (or any of the countless new additions like Disney+ and HBO Max), consider limiting your subscriptions to just one platform or sharing memberships with others in your family.
Eat At Home (& skip the frappuccino!)
Let’s face it: it’s fun to eat out, especially now that COVID-19 seems to be winding down. Out of all the recurring expenses you can avoid, however, eating lunch out every day may be the most effective.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spends over $3,365 on restaurants each year. That breaks down to $280 per month. Encourage yourself to eat at home, bring lunch to work, and start saving in a big way.
Coffee shops charge about $5 per drink. Even if you go only twice a week, that delicious iced macchiato quickly becomes a $500 annual expense. Instead, treat yourself to a local bag of freshly roasted beans and cut down on costs.
Cut The Cable
What was once an affordable source of entertainment, cable TV has since become one of the biggest monthly drains of income. Last year, Consumer Reports analyzed hundreds of cable bills from 13 different companies and found that the actual price consumers paid for cable was $217.42 per month.
Why pay that when you can use a Netflix basic account for $8.99 a month? If having cable TV is a must, make sure you bundle it with your internet and phone package to save as much as possible.
At uLink, we know how hard you work for your money. Sending money home is another expense that can impact your lifestyle in the United States.
That’s why we provide great exchange rates and fees starting as low as $0, so you can send as much money home as possible.
For a limited time, new customers will receive a $10 gift card to major retailers on their 1st, 2nd, and 5th transactions. That’s a total of three gifts cards worth $30 after your first five transactions.