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How COVID-19 is Affecting Spending Habits

And chocolate consumption.

If you have decided to cut back here and there to conserve cash because of the uncertainty that surrounds COVID-19, you’re not alone. It seems like everyone is looking for innovative ways to stay afloat until there is a return to normalcy, making budget cuts wherever possible and taking a closer look at expenditures. A recent study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of EnergyBot shows that 65% of people are, unfortunately, only able to make ends meet by either missing or skipping monthly payments, including electricity and utility bills. Those who have skipped a payment have missed an average of five bill payments total. The new “crunch” is felt by households and businesses alike.

When chocolate and ice cream go, you know it’s getting serious.

Sixty-three percent of the respondents reported they are worried about having enough money to pay bills on time, and 34% are dipping into emergency savings to pay for essentials like electricity and rent. When things get tight, luxuries are the first things to go. For instance, 38% of the respondents said they are cutting back on streaming services, and 34% said they aren’t getting take-out food anymore. If a home appliance is on the fritz, more people are saying they will try to fix it themselves rather than call a repair service. People are reporting using cash instead of debit or credit cards for a while to better manage their money. Gym memberships are canceled, and cable and cell phone plans are cut back. Two universal favorite vices for handling stress, chocolate and ice cream, have also made the cut. They rank among the top five luxuries people are doing without until their budgets loosen again.

When chocolate and ice cream go, you know it’s getting serious.  

Fortunately, there are ways to cut financial corners other than the heartbreaking avoidance of the ice cream aisle at the grocery store. For example, you can trim your energy bill with just a few simple daily household habits. The survey respondents who have tried this are already noticing a difference. 

  • Turn off the lights whenever they are not needed.

  • Turn off all relevant appliances when they are not in use.

  • Keep windows and doors closed when the heating or cooling is on.

  • Open the windows instead of adjusting the AC.

  • Use blinds to control the temperature of a room. 

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Although budgeting your way through COVID-19 can be complicated, navigating your way to a lower energy bill doesn’t have to be. Your only job is to give them a few details, such as location, name of your current utility company, and the amount of your last energy bill. The algorithm goes to work, and a new lower energy rate emerges. 

Next up? Sit back and watch your savings—and chocolate stash—return. 

Another way to scale back on energy bill costs is to shop rates. It’s a small investment of time that can save big dollars—even a reduction in your electric bill by 20% or more. Sounds refreshing, doesn’t it? Shopping energy rates only takes a minute and can be done on a single web site. EnergyBot is an energy supplier and online energy broker for businesses and residential. EnergyBot’s system ingests hundreds of thousands of plans and electric rates from dozens of suppliers each month and has partnered with every utility to allow users to link to their usage data to see pricing specific to them. Because EnergyBot is an online platform that cuts out the middleman (the energy brokers and consultants who mark-up energy rates to make money off you), it can offer lower energy rates from top energy suppliers. 

To find out how you can save 20% or more on your company’s energy bill, visit EnergyBot.com.

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