UNITED STATES─I might get some flack for this, but I’m being completely honest here, that I have saved so much money since the country has gone on a virtual shutdown. While I would be exaggerating things slightly by saying the country has shut down, because in all actuality it hasn’t, but it feels like 80 percent is out of commission for the time being.

You cannot go to the barbershop, hair salon, a majority of banks are closed, no extracurricular activities like dining out, going to the movies, bowling, skating, amusement parks, shopping malls, this is boredom at its worst people and I mean its worst. However, there might be a silver lining for those of us who have the opportunity to still work: we can save money.

I know I’m not the only person whose budget is on tight and I mean tight grips to prevent any unnecessary spending from transpiring. I mean beyond food, personal hygiene and maybe work-related supplies and bills that are absolutely essential, any money I make is staying in the checking or savings account. Not to mention, any liquid cash that I have on hand I am doing my best to keep in my wallet. Why? We don’t know if the day will come where the use of a credit card or ATM becomes impossible. I mean just do your best to give a call to the bank or one of your utility providers a call to try to get some information or clarify something of importance.

You might be on hold for quite some time and when I say that I’m being generous because it could be hours. It can be absolutely frustrating to say the least, but keep a tab on all the calls you’ve made because you want to have something as a backup if needed. Now back to what we were discussing: finances. How do you best go about not just protecting your money, but ensuring you are being smart about what you spend?

Well first, don’t go into desperation mode. That is the one thing that I’m not crazy about: the government constantly telling people how long this lockdown is going to last. Why? It causes anxiety for people. Many start to stress and when you stress it can lead to panic. Panic is NEVER a good thing because you can impulse buy. You rush to the grocery store and start purchasing everything off the shelf you think you need, but a vast majority of it will go to waste.

You stockpile paper towel and toilet tissue to a point where you have so much supply; you could probably deliver a package to every single neighbor on your street. With that said, you have to ensure you are absolutely saving money anyway that you can at this trying time if possible. Pay your bills against all odds, but don’t overdo it if you cannot.

As long as you pay that minimum due, look at it as you paid the bill. Any extra, you can attempt to pay as you start to see a steady stream of revenue come in. I mean come on people, let’s be completely honest no one truly knows where their next dollar is coming in the present day and time. For those with a consistent paycheck it can stop at any given time and that is a damn scary concept I don’t care how much money you may have put away, all it takes is one unexpected blow and it call all vanish into thin air.

So many of us might hate the boredom that we’re enduring right now, but the only great thing about it for those who are bringing in revenue and collecting unemployment, beyond paying bills is we have the opportunity to save like never before. If it’s not open you cannot spend America.

Written By Zoe Mitchell