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An Opportunity to Adjust Your Spending Habits

Authored By: Manatee Community FCU on 5/4/2020

man working on budget during COVID-19

COVID-19 is teaching many lessons to consumers around the world. Many families are facing tough times as the pandemic and subsequent shutdowns extract a heavy price from local and nationwide consumers.

Among the most important lessons we’re learning in times like this are the importance of saving for emergencies and making the most of every dollar.

Priorities have shifted for consumers. Americans are now going into survival mode where every dollar is earmarked for specific essential goods and services:

  • Utilities
  • Housing
  • Food

The essentials in life are priorities as families seek to “hunker down” and weather this storm. Frivolous spending and luxuries, for most, are things of the past or rarities. At least for the moment.

This new shift in attitude, as we work together as a nation to defeat the spread of COVID-19, creates an excellent foundation to readjust the way you view spending in general, allowing you to create new spending habits that will serve you well going forward.

Spending Habits After the Crisis Passes

It’s easy to prioritize spending now, in the midst of a pandemic, when practically all the businesses that once took the lion’s share of our incomes are shuttered or sorely limited. Spending on entertainment has been greatly curtailed as major and minor league sports, concerts, and even many shopping venues are no longer operational. Spa dates and salon visits are out in these trying times as well. Even restaurants have limited their offerings to takeout and delivery.

We’re learning that these are things we can live without — regardless of how important they once seemed to us. That doesn’t mean you can’t return to a more ordinary life once the pandemic ends and the economy begins reopening. It does, however, mean you might want to adjust the way you spend.

Take this opportunity to engage in a few important tasks:

  • Review your pre-pandemic budget and financial statements.
  • Compare them to your pandemic expenses and spending.
  • Look for differences between the two.

Many people have discovered profound insights between the differences that can help reprioritize spending once the pandemic ends to create more robust savings and new priorities for future spending.

Areas to Review Spending

For some families, reviews must be completed across the board. But specific areas where people may want to adjust spending include the following:

  • Entertainment. This includes movies, concerts, amusement parks, carnivals, etc.
  • Dining. It’s not only about the don’ts but the dos as well, such as limiting dining out while buying more in bulk, taking lunches to work, and preparing weekly meals in advance to stretch food dollars further.
  • Shopping. Give yourself a budget for purchasing clothing, accessories, and other luxuries in life.
  • Gatherings. While following CDC guidelines and local authorities, focus on important moments in life with friends and families at backyard barbecues and potlucks, rather than meeting at more expensive restaurants.

Small changes can yield massive results for your post-pandemic budgets without putting a real crimp on your lifestyle or your enjoyment of special moments in your life.

We’re Here to Help!

We understand that life comes down to so much more than dollars and cents. We also understand that those dollars and cents make many things possible.

We are here to offer advice and guidance about saving, spending wisely, and helping you grow your money long-term.

Contact us today at information@manateecfcu.org to learn more about how we can help you adjust your spending habits so you can achieve your financial goals.

 

Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.



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