How have you spent your time during the shelter-in-place government mandate due to the Coronavirus pandemic? Did you use the time productively by tackling your long-standing to do list? Or, were you bored and restless the entire time? There is something that many have experienced during this downtime. Many have experienced an increase in the amount of discretionary income that is left at the end of the month.
During the shelter-in-place, many experienced a decrease in monthly spending in several areas of the lifestyle management process.
As travel was stalled, people were unable to spend money on vacations or short weekend getaways.
While bars and clubs were closed, restaurant visits were reduced as social distancing requirements affected in-door seating arrangements.
Routine personal grooming such as haircuts, shampoo and style, hair coloring, manicures and pedicures were altered. For these pleasures, many discovered unknown talents by attempting d-i-y (do-it-yourself) projects. Others were forced to take on new identities that they cannot wait to get rid of.
With the closing of malls, people were unable to purchase clothes or shoes, unless they reverted to online shopping. Because all in-person events were cancelled, there were no need to make grand appearances with newly acquired outfits.
All sporting events were cancelled as well as movie theaters were closed. To find some sort of enjoyment, many people purchased online movie subscriptions. This still allowed for a significant decrease in entertainment expenses in the lifestyle management process.
The reduction in spending activity has helped those that lost income and were forced to live on emergency funds. Instead of dishing out funds for what has been known as normal monthly expenses, many have learned how to adjust their lifestyles accordingly. For others that continued working and did not experience a reduction in income, were able to increase their emergency funds with the discretionary income that was left because of the change in expense activities.
As the government’s restrictions start to lift, keep in mind how you were affected during your shelter-in-place. Were you financially prepared or were your finances negatively impacted by this pandemic? Just because you are physically able to resume pre-pandemic spending activities, does not mean you financially should resume those activities. As tempting as it may be, reconsider if you actually need the activities or just want the activities. Staying vigilant with your finances and continuing to have an increase in discretionary income each month will help you to be prepared for any future emergency situations.
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