Jeran Van Alfen, CFP®
5 Money Habits to Keep from Your Lockdown
As my family just finished a week of virtual promotions to end the school year, I am reminded of how all of us have been so resilient to adapt to the last few months of changes in our systems. If you are like me, you are watching the wave of people re-entering and re-opening for the summer with some happiness but also confusion on what is safe and what the effects of more interactions will bring.
There is no doubt that Summer 2020 will be somewhat of flashback to simpler times with less air travel and more family road trips. Make sure to be smart, be safe, and protect your health as you plan your summer activities and enjoy the outdoors! As we do see more businesses re-open and people return to normal work environments, I suggest that there are a few habits that you can take from the last few months that may improve your financial progress.
Eat out less
The last few months have slowed down life and provided time for a lot of us to try out new recipes. You may have noticed while working from home, your food budget was a little lighter with less business lunches or running out to grab a quick lunch. Keep up your new culinary skills and make food prep a good habit to keep as you get back to work.
Think before you drive
With stay at home orders we all drove a lot less. Going forward be conscious of your travel and ask if it is necessary. Can you get things done virtually? Does it require a trip to that meeting? Negotiate your travel and only commit to things that are necessary. Maybe you can continue to spend less on transportation and put that money into your financial goals.
Do you need that membership?
The last few months have increased virtual training opportunities. Make sure to evaluate what monthly memberships you have and look for opportunities to join pay as you go sessions. Many gyms, trainers, yoga teachers, counselors, etc. offer virtual training that allow you to join when you want and pay per session.
At work and at home, make sure to ask yourself what is necessary. At work, this opportunity gives you negotiating power on how productivity can be met with alternative systems such as online meetings. At home, you may have learned that the minimal life is good. Whatever has simplified your life or lowered your stress, stick with it.
These last few months showed us just how volatile the market can be. We saw an extreme drop in March only to be followed by almost an equal extreme rally in certain sectors during April and May. If you continually invested through this entire period, you are most likely were able to buy investments at great prices. Keep this in mind as you move forward with your investment goals.
Lastly, I just want to say that if you are feeling anxious or confused about life between lockdown and re-opening. You are not alone. These are definitely confusing times. Take it at your own pace and always protect your emotional and physical health. Here are 3 things to remember:
Manage your expectations about how motivated or productive you will be in returning to normal during these times.
Start small and don’t get overwhelmed.
Don’t hold it all in. Make sure to communicate how you feel and reach out to friends and family who are supportive.