This week was #3 in the stay-at-home order for our county. I worked from home every week and my husband still had to brave the elements to go to work.
My finances were very up and down, but I did learn some very clear lessons in spending, saving, and budgeting.
Somehow I managed to spend about the same amount. There’s so much talk about how it’s easier to save money while at home, but I’m finding every reason under the sun to still shop. It also helps that I’m doing well financially at work, so I have a little more wiggle room that I didn’t before. So, where did my funds go?
- New clothing, prepping for spring outings (if we’ll get them)
- Novelty items from Fringe Studios for my new work desk. I got a coffee mug, pen/pencil set, simple planner notebook
- Food. My excuse has been that I’m helping people stay employed by using food delivery services from restaurants and grocery stores. We paid $10 in delivery fees for groceries! That’s a lot to me, but it was worth it.
The coronavirus has put into perspective the importance of my savings. I’ve had the goal of maintaining $1,000 in savings at all times, even when I have to dip into it. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get to that point yet. With this new external threat to us all financially, I’ve resolved to do the following:
- Put extra debt payments on pause and stash it in my savings for now (got this advice from Farnoosh Torabi on the So Money podcast)
- Find pockets in my budget to divert money to savings that normally would’ve been spent on unnecessary items.
- Increase my base bi-weekly savings to help cushion my emergency fund.
I’m finally above the $1,000 mark again and my new goal is to keep it that way. We’ll see how long that lasts given that an emergency always pops up when I finally reach a financial milestone.
This part is largely influenced by my other decisions mentioned. One thing I made a point to do was maintain a budget, even when I put more restrictions on my savings and spending. The budget keeps me sane and somewhat in control. In a time where so much is out of our control, I found satisfaction in this small area of my life, even if I don’t have all the funds that I’d like to have.
My budget is also full of leniency and grace with myself. I know that I’m liable to go over budget in some areas within my 2 weeks. So I always leave extra money unaccounted for in my budget. It hardly exceeds $30, so it’s not too crazy. I do still have to exercise some self-discipline.
I hope with these simple steps, I can maintain a decent financial position when we end up on the other side of this COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Here’s my goals:
- Respectable savings for emergency funds and previously set financial goals.
- Keep up with current debt payments as to not fall behind on my accelerated payoff schedule.
- Find a way to spend less since I’m home more and take advantage of the #stayhome savings.