The temptation is there to spend spend and spend during quarantine. But do you have to?
There are sales galore during this time as companies are trying to sell through their excess inventory and grow sales to offset closing store fronts temporality and furloughing employees. I get it, the temptation to spend is real. Since it feels like we have more time on our hands during this time, especially on the weekends, online shopping just seems like another activity to do to occupy our time. But does it have to be?
One of my new years resolutions was to spend less this year and be more cognizant of my spending. The first step that I did was to simply unsubscribe from all store/retailer communications. Whenever I received an email that said 40% off the entire store, I literally took it to heart and bought the entire store because I felt like I had to. Why? No idea. Since then, my need to shop has been way less. If I need something, I pay more attention to sales and keep an eye on when the store has a sale or if I really need it, I just buy it. The endless scrolling has not helped my wallet in the past and now I am just more aware of what I’m spending.
This is really an uncertain time especially in the market. The stock market was down and continues to be down from the beginning of the year. Sure we are supposed to be in the stock market for the long haul and these dips are bound to happen but it is scary especially if your 401K is invested in the market. We can’t predict the future but we can impact the now. For me, my biggest expenses are always rent and food. I’m fortunate to not have any loans or anything that I need to owe despite rent and my normal credit card statement. During this time I am not going out to eat, getting drinks, or feeling the need for a new wardrobe because I simply can not wear it anywhere. With this mindset I’m using it as a way to just save for the future or for experiences that I want to do once this is over.
So what am I doing? I am actually putting the normal amount of money that I spend each month directly into my savings account. I grew up in a family where your savings account is something that you NEVER touch. When I get a promotion, I always put in the difference into my savings account so I just don’t feel the urge to spend it. If I get a tax refund? I let myself have like $50 or so dollars for fun but put the rest (if there is any) into my savings. Sounds super boring, I know but I think of it as “out of sight out of mind.” I am also being smart and realizing that when this is all over my expenses will definitely rise as I am just so excited to go out to dinner with friends, go to bars, go to coffee shops, and support local businesses. With that in mind, I know I have to be smart about how much I put aside for the future while realizing I do deserve to have some fun after all of this is over.
How is your spending during quarantine?
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