Quick note for your weekend thoughts.
As difficult as it has been to find a silver lining to the pandemic, there have been one or two recurring themes that could be classified as positive, or at least opportunistic. One theme is that a fair number of people with whom I have spoken have reported far lower overall (or at least discretionary) spending in the past couple of months compared to “normal” times. Think:
- Going out to dinner & drinks
- Travel… whether weekend or vacations
- Hair color & hair cuts
- Nail salons
- Massage & spa appointments/memberships
- Traditional Gym memberships
- Kids’ camps & activities
Other activities may have taken the place of several of these, but overall, I can report that a great number of people are talking about having spent far less in the past nearly 3 months. Several people have even asked me, “What do I do with all of my savings from the past 3 months?”
At most basic, this situation presents the opportunity to analyze where money WAS spent – specifically to understand what items seem to have been priority expenses. At the same time, perhaps the experience of having “gone without” certain lower priority services and items for 2½ months could make it easier to streamline how money is spent – and saved – going forward.
No one wanted this pandemic and nearly everyone wants it OVER. But as long as we are stuck with the coronavirus for a little while longer, there are ways to use this time to come out on the other side smarter and more aware of spending, which could lead to greater savings as a buffer and survival tool for future challenging times.