Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of our lives are changing. Many of us are reevaluating our expenses, sometimes budgeting for the first time in a while. Recently, many jobs have also moved to remote work.
If you transitioned to working from home, here are some steps you should consider to make the most of your new lifestyle:
1. Assess your lifestyle as you live it now.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the changes the COVID-19 pandemic brought into our lives. Our routines have changed. Suddenly, we’re shopping online more frequently, skipping the usual morning latte, and maybe focusing more on necessities like groceries and utility bills like the internet.
Instead of getting bogged down in what will be a good fit, months from now, focus on how you live life today.
Start by reviewing where you stand today. For example, it can pay to look into your financial situation to understand what you’re working with and to avoid any budget surprises.
If you’re working from home, look into whether your company has provided guidance about when you might need to go back into the office. You may be in for the long haul if your company has been quiet about a return-to-office date. Notably, some large employers like Google and Uber announced they wouldn’t return to their offices until 2021. Others, like Twitter, Square, and Shopify, have entirely shifted their employees to permanent remote work. Your company may have similar plans.
2. Find easy ways to save.
With the everyday commute and morning rush hour that was commonplace for so many of us practically gone, our car could be an easy place to look for savings. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic could be a good time to switch car insurance companies.
Car insurance coverage is a necessity, and the price we pay seems fair when we’re driving all the time. But what about now when we use our cars less?
Pay-per-mile car insurance could be a fit for many drivers now. For example, Metromile bills adapt to your lifestyle in near real-time because you pay for the miles you drive. The pricing structure can give you more control over your monthly budget, and bills can be lower because you pay just a few cents per mile.
3. Look for services that provide flexibility.
We’re interacting with our service providers differently these days, but we still expect them to be there for us when we need them. Stand-out companies should have flexible terms and be willing to adapt, just as we change our lifestyles.
Recently, large car insurance companies have made some changes to the premiums they charge drivers. Customers have recognized the unfairness of paying the same flat-rate premiums, despite driving less in response to the stay-at-home and lockdown orders enacted to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Many insurance companies offered one-time discounts or flat-rate COVID-19 discounts on their policies, but many drivers continued to overpay because their driving reduced considerably, or the savings were too small to make a difference in people’s budgets.
Low-mileage drivers (the majority of Americans!) can save with Metromile. There’s no need to wait for a discount or refund because savings are built into the pay per mile model. Metromile customers saved about 30% on average beginning in April and can continue to save because they pay per mile.
If your driving patterns change or you need to resume your regular commute again, Metromile can still help you save. Metromile customers, including essential and frontline workers, saved $741 a year on average, according to a survey of new customers who saved with Metromile in 2018. Additionally, Metromile doesn’t charge cancellation fees, so you can switch with confidence.
Demi Greco is a communications specialist, plant mom, and under-baked cookie connoisseur from San Francisco.