It’s no surprise that the past 7 months have been quite different than any other time, and it’s interesting to reflect on how our spending changes during COVID-19 and even how our values have adapted around spending.
Savings Changes (Yes, there is a silver lining)
Transportation (or the lack thereof)
The biggest savings we’ve experienced is on transportation. We both traditionally would take the commuter rail into the city and the monthly pass is $301, making the combined cost $602. Adding in the $4.00/per day parking cost (estimating 25 work days in a month), we are saving $702 per a month.
Saying farewell to the Gym Membership
One thing I miss is the gym. We rejoined over the summer to enjoy the pool, but we decided to forego the membership this year and complete at home workouts instead. Long-term, we’d like to create an at-home gym so I don’t know if this category is really “savings”, but probably temporarily savings that we’ll use to buy equipment. Our gym membership was a bit of a splurge for us because we loved the classes, but monthly we traditionally would spend $250.
Spending Changes During COVID-19
Supporting Local Restaurants and Businesses
Where do we splurge? We definitely splurge at local restaurants and businesses. That was the biggest change for me. We used to go to dinner, but now I always try to support local when possible and we have increased the number of times we order food by ~1/week. It doesn’t seem like a drastic change, but that 1/week is a ~ $100 expense, making the monthly spending ~$400. I always loved supporting local restaurants, but now I make it a priority because of the strain on those businesses and I want to do my best to ensure those restaurants we love are there in a post-pandemic world.
Home Renovation on Lady Winthrop
The obvious change is that a huge part of our budget has been spent on the home renovation. When we wrap-up the project, I’ll share the full breakdown of how we’ve spent the renovation budget, but month to month that means we were frequent visitors at Lowe’s and also support local trade businesses such as our electrician. At the beginning of the quarantine, our ability to support these local businesses was a source of meaning as we felt a responsibility to stay the course and provide work from the project as much of the world was shutting down.
How has your spending and saving habits changed during COVID-19?