How Has Your Spending Changed During The Shutdown?

I miss you, coffee shops. (Photo: Shutterstock)

My budget makes absolutely no sense right now.

My gym stopped charging me, my car insurance company is giving me a discount, and all the trips I saved for are cancelled until further notice.

And although I’m spending nearly zero dollars at bars and restaurants, my usual weekend budget-buster, I’m spending more than I usually do at the grocery store.

If you look at my budget, the spreadsheet I’ve arranged and tweaked and rely on to keep me in check, every category is out of whack. I’m so far out of check it’s not even funny.

Are you experiencing the same thing right now? What’s happening to your budget?

The pandemic and its stay-at-home orders have forced us to rethink how we spend our time and our money. And while you may be finding big savings in some areas—childcare and transportation, perhaps—you might have also noticed an increase in other areas that are usually pretty predictable.

And then there’s the online shopping to consider. A Wallethub survey found that 43% of people admit to “comfort buying” during the pandemic, spending on everything from alcohol and beauty products to entertainment and exercise equipment.

For all my pandemic-era savings, if I’m being honest with you, I’ve actually just reallocated my spending. I’ve definitely made some splurge purchases under the guise of “Well, I’m not spending any money on coffee shops/the mall/gasoline right now.”

That’s how I ended up with an indoor bike (because the gym is closed!) and a new vacuum cleaner (I need a better one if I’m going to be home all the time!).

So, what’s happening to your budget right now?

Are you spending more money, or less? Are you shopping more, or focusing on using what you already have at home? Can you already see how this period of adjustment might result in some long-term changes to how you manage your money?

Share your observations with us in the comments.


Comments

    I’m saving about $400 per payday because I’m not eating out.

    And although I’m spending nearly zero dollars at bars and restaurants, my usual weekend budget-buster, I’m spending more than I usually do at the grocery store.

    In a nutshell, this. Entertainment costs have hit zero, while shopping feels like its doubled. It hasnt, but its getting close. End result has been saving a nice wad of cash though, so not complaining. If I spend $100 more on food but dont spend $500 elsewhere, I'm well ahead.

    As a side note, I've noticed that Woolies has far less specials these days, in a period where its making off like a bandit with all the panic buying. They're slowly coming back, but its nowhere near what it was. Again though, with what I've saved elsewhere its not an issue, just an observation.

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