Are you filling up your tank once or twice a week? Nope. Are you eating out like you used to? Nope. Are you going to the movies? Nope. Are you shopping at your favorite stores every weekend? Nope. If you’re like most Americans, you’ve actually saved money during all the strict stay-at-home orders that have been in place since the latter part of March 2020.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to continue working during the great quarantine of 2020, you’ve probably cut back without even trying. After all, your favorite stores were probably closed, all concerts were canceled, and even your go-to nail salon, beauty salon or barbershop was probably closed. You’ve probably stashed a little cash away – a nice and unexpected surprise.
Saving Money During the Quarantine
A significant percentage of Americans have saved money during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how they’ve been saving money:
- Not going out to eat
- Not buying coffee drinks
- Not taking a vacation
- Not making major purchases
Isn’t it amazing how much money we can save when the country shuts down for a couple of months? But now that things are slowly opening back up, what do you do? Go back to your old ways or change your spending habits for the better?
If you happen to look at ads or visit a mall, you’ll notice sales everywhere. Stores are trying to encourage spending, but that doesn’t mean you have to fall for every killer deal you run across! You may have cabin fever, but you can’t let it distract you from sticking to a budget.
Tips to Avoid Overspending After the Pandemic
We’ve all been going through something we’ve never experienced before. Schools and businesses were shut down. Concerts and big gatherings were canceled and churches had to stop holding their services. Even if you’ve been shopping online all this time, it doesn’t mean you aren’t itching to get out and spend your dollars at a brick and mortar location.
We all get it. But just because you haven’t had the opportunity to shop in a mall, it doesn’t mean you have the permission to blow all the money you’ve saved this past couple of months. To avoid overspending after the pandemic, follow these tips:
- Stop comparing yourself to others. If your neighbor spent their stimulus check on a designer handbag or new rims for their car, it doesn’t mean you have to put the money toward something you don’t need.
- Stay off social media for a while. When you’re on Facebook and Instagram looking at your friends’ latest vacation pics, it can make you feel like you’re missing out and you need to go book a flight somewhere exotic. Instead, hold a social media fast and concentrate on sticking to your budget.
- If you really want something expensive, practice delayed gratification. Wait at least 48 hours before you make that big purchase.
If you had crushing debt before COVID-19, or if you lost your job due to the pandemic, or if you’re a small business owner and your business had to shut down permanently, an effective, long-term solution may be filing bankruptcy. To explore your options, contact Dethlefs Pykosh & Murphy for a free case evaluation.