Hang On to These Quarantine Money Habits
Our lives have changed in so many ways over the last several months, and we can expect more changes as we all adapt to a “new normal.” For many, there’s been a radical shift for the better in how we look at spending and saving money. And these quarantine money habits are worth continuing, even when all the lockdowns are eventually lifted. Let’s see which money-saving habits you’ll want to keep:
Cooking at Home
We have always said that preparing meals at home is one of the best ways to save money and that still holds true. Many people who had never really cooked for themselves before were forced to learn by being in quarantine and discovered their bank accounts were better for it. It’s one of the positive quarantine money habits to hang on to, even when restaurants fully re-open. Instead of getting back into the take-out habit, make it an occasional treat instead.
Supporting Small Businesses
Communities around the country pulled together to save their favorite small businesses. Now that most businesses are back open, make the effort to continue to support your local favorites, rather than returning to mega-chains and big box stores. If you’re still not venturing out much yet, shopping on Etsy is a safe, socially distant way to support small businesses from all over the world.
Saving for Emergencies
Perhaps no other event in recent memory has highlighted the need for emergency savings as much as the ongoing pandemic. People whose jobs and livelihoods seemed secure one day found themselves with reduced or eliminated incomes the next. Having 3-6 months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund is clearly a necessity. If that seems overwhelming, start with an attainable goal of saving $500 and continue adding to it every chance you have.
Without concerts, plays, sporting events and movie theaters to enjoy, we have all had to find new (and affordable) ways to stay entertained. From taking up baking and crafting to learning how to play an instrument or rediscovering the simple joy of curling up with a good book, these affordable pursuits have helped us stay sane and kept more money in our pockets. That’s not to say you shouldn’t splurge on a special event now and then, but learning you don’t need external forces to stay entertained will be a long-term money saver.
Reducing & Reusing
From flour and bananas to hand sanitizer, paper products and hair color, the pandemic produced increased demand for a diverse range of products, while supply chain issues made them difficult to come by. That forced Americans into a “make do” mentality that was a new experience for many. Now that supplies are (mostly) back to pre-pandemic levels, why not continue acting as if they’re scarce? Take care to buy and use only what you need and continue making the effort to stretch your resources. It’s a money-saving strategy that will soon become second nature