Social Question

LuckyGuy's avatar

Have your spending habits changed significantly since the Covid-19 sequestering and shut down?

Asked by LuckyGuy (43447points) April 28th, 2020

Are you saving or spending more money than usual? Are you avoiding expensive takeout foods and eating more home cooked meals?

Surely, you are saving a lot on the price of gasoline.

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30 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Surprisingly we have been saving more than I would have expected. Eating only at home and not really driving. We are staying in on weekends so just the basics as far as spending:mortgage, food, utilities…

Coolhandluke's avatar

I’m piling cash. Have been for about a month.

I’m also getting into gardening; growing my own vegetables for the first time. It’s a good hobby and will feed my family for nearly nothing.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, yeah. No meals out, no movies or theater visits, no meeting up with friends in NYC (no train fare), stuff like that. There is an “unusual” expense or two from ordering some gifts online to send to people for birthdays or occasions, but that’s a pittance compared to what I’m not spending. My favorite take-out Chinese has just reopened today for takeout, I’ll probably order from them this evening, mostly just to support them and celebrate their return.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I haven’t noticed a huge difference!!! With my disability, I find it extremely difficult to cook for myself. My fave restaurant has been opening their drive thru so I’m driving about ½ mile per day to run down & pick up my lunch. I had to do my first refill on gas 2 days ago. I live in a really tiny town so it’s not far from my house to anywhere I want to go. Anything important that I’ve needed, I’ve managed to order from Amazon or Walmart online.I was fortunate enough to get my hair cut the day before the Governor shut down all the hair salons & I had her cut it shorter than usual so it’s just now getting to the place where it needs to be cut again & our Governor just reopened our salons.

Being retired & used to living on my Social Security, I’m pretty much a creature of habit & my habits haven’t changed that much. I know within $5 how much my food will cost me for the month. i usually buy some gas for my car every other week & this time it’s been probably 5 weeks since I last bought. I probably could have gone a few days longer before really needing to fill up but I was determined to get in on this cheap gas!!! So, I’ve saved roughly $50 during this time.

I was self isolating long before the pandemic, so my lifestyle hasn’t changed that drastically except that I’ve stopped volunteering with the babies at the hospital & I’m not doing my daily counseling with my ADHD kids. I’m still doing counseling by phone but it’s not necessarily every day as it was before & I’m not leaving home to do it. For me, the hardest change is missing the kids & babies that I interacted with every day before all this!!!

LuckyGuy's avatar

We’re clearly saving more: few restaurant meals, not going anywhere that cost money, no trips. I’m glad to see others are seeing this, too.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m spending next to nothing compared to before the lockdown. Bills and groceries. The wife bought a new ipad, but I’m amazed at how little cash it takes if you don’t circulate.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’ve been spending more than usual. Spend over $3K to upgrade my 31 foot long 3-man outrigger canoe with a second ama (outrigger). Getting set up for sailing. Bought a cool used red white and blue sail ($260) yesterday for my 17 foot mast and 14 foot boom. The cost of little things like pulleys, cleats, cam cleats and ropes add up. Going with Hawaiian crab claw sail rig. Still have pay a professional canoe builder to bring it all together. Hope to have it complete by July. Fun stuff.

johnpowell's avatar

Massive spending freeze here. In February I started to get a bad feeling about this and stopped spending. I was planning on getting a new TV but decided to hold off. I have pretty much only bought food for months. And normally I buy a bunch of random crap.

The good thing is I have paid off the 6K of credit card debt I accumulated buying woodworking stuff. So that feels good.

We are having a wedding at my sisters house in August and my sister was going to pay someone 11K to paint the house. She decided to save the cash and just paint it herself. And she held off getting a new car.

Oh, I did just get a new phone a few days ago. But my old phone was six years old and the new phone was cheap.

gondwanalon's avatar

Oh and we just paid a little over $10K to remodel our bathroom. Not quite finished. Still have to put in the shower door, finish the overhead exhaust and re-tile the floor.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

We’re not going out to restaurants or shopping except for groceries.
We’ll be having more bonfires for entertainment now that it’s getting a bit warmer outside and my hub will be throwing clay with me sometime this week.just like in the movie Ghost lol

KNOWITALL's avatar

Saving quite a bit, I love it.

JLeslie's avatar


My first meal out was this past Sunday since March 11. I’ve lost weight because of it too.

I barely go anywhere so I’m saving maybe $60 a month on gas.

I am spending a little more on electricity, but these happen to be cheap months for electricity every year because the weather is very mild in March and April every year. I’ve had windows open almost every day.

Haven’t needed to buy hair spray or make-up, because I’m using very little. Eventually, I’ll need to.

The biggest thing is my husband was renting an apartment in Nashville. Since his office is working from home now we have saved that for at least one month, we gave 30 days notice when everything was getting heated up in early March, even before there was a stay at home order, but we still were paying even when he wasn’t there. We’ll see what happens going forward.

Also, no theatre nights out (maybe I go 6 times a year, so not very much).

jca2's avatar

I’m saving a lot. I’d normally spend over 100 dollars per week with my 40+ mile-each way commute. I’d normally buy lunch at work at least a few days per week. Lunches are usually not expensive, but still, now I’m not doing that at all. I’m not shopping a lot as there are no stores open, except Walmart and other discount stores, and supermarkets.

In the beginning, mid March, I went food shopping and I bought more than I normally would, because there was uncertainty about things being closed and maybe having to stay in the house for a few weeks. I probably spent 200 dollars then. I’d never spend that much on food at once, normally. I bought at Costco, things like a 25 lb bag of rice for $10. I figured rice won’t go bad, so it’s good to have on hand. I bought a lot of fruit and stuff, and have since been food shopping, but nothing crazy.

I am also saving on wear and tear on my car. Normally I’d get an oil change a few times a year and my tires last around 2 years. Now I’m saving on that.

I would have taken a short trip with my daughter for Spring break. That would have been about 700 dollars for a few nights in a hotel, gas, meals, entertainment.

I’ve been home “working from home” since Thursday March 19 (but who’s counting haha). I’m enjoying it a lot.

I am painting my dining room which is not a typical expense, but I have the time to do it so I am knocking it out. I probably spent a few hundred between paint, equipment, new curtains, etc.

I also signed up for Disney+ which is a new expense but I’m saving on not going to the movies and stuff.

zenvelo's avatar

The amount in the bank has remained flat for the last three weeks, as I am not going out to movies and concerts, and I have been getting refunds for cancelled performances. Just yesterday, tickets to a play were refunded, a credit of $175.

While my gas expenses have gone way down, my car’s mileage has gone in the tank because it never really gets warmed up.

I am not spending as much on meals out but I am getting take out a couple times a week. Keeping the local restaurants in business.

janbb's avatar

Way down except for charitable donations. I am giving a lot to food pantries and free dinner charities as well as international charities like Doctors without Borders and the International Rescue Organization.

Demosthenes's avatar

An increase in spending from ordering more food delivery balanced by a decrease from not buying gas and not going out to eat. So about the same.

I do most of my non-grocery shopping online anyway, so that hasn’t changed, although I haven’t ordered anything recently (but that could’ve been the case even if this hadn’t happened).

This has mainly just been making me bored more anything else.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Yes, saving and paying down debt faster.

Lost weight too from cutting back on unnecessary items such as sweets .

Eating healthier foods too.

This pandemic had its good points too as if anyone trying to lose weight,save more, cut down debts,have been able to do so easier.

Apparently if one wishes to change a bad habit to last then try it for at least 3 weeks as by then it becomes a pattern that stays.

I bet that a lot of people stopped a lot of bad habits and changed for the good habits.

Although shopping online was over the top I think that is slowed down considerably in some families where the results were realized that we actually don’t need those items .

More are going outside biking, walking the trails, talking in person rather than devices as a result plus climate changes were significant because of the isolation procedures in effect.

Even in a National Park it was noted by a Park representative that the water in a well used river had cleared up considerably and its natural fresh color returned .

The animals are roaming freely on the vacant highways and calmer.

Birds singing is heard clearer now that cars have stopped travelling through the Mountain Park System.

A plus for environment!

jca2's avatar

I’m hoping that this shutdown of almost everything will inspire more employers to let their employees work from home in the future. It can save the employers on office space, overhead such as power, office equipment, etc. It can save the employees on gas and other expenses (as it is with me), even though employers don’t usually care about savings to workers. Last but not least, it saves the Earth with pollution from less commuters on planes, trains and automobiles.

ucme's avatar

Saving on wages
Saving on trips to cinema/football/bowling
Saving on eating out
Saving on car engine juice

I’m literally swimming in ca£h :D

LadyMarissa's avatar

^ I thought you had a staff for that!!! LoL

filmfann's avatar

Normally, I spend much more on gas (driving to see my kids and grandkids) and going out to dinner.

chyna's avatar

Saving on lots of things. I’ve had the same tank of gas since April 4th. It’s at half a tank now. I have only been to the store 3 times, so I haven’t spent that much in groceries. I haven’t bought anything on line as I was afraid to spend anything. But then my stimulus check came in and my unemployment and since I was so ahead of the game, that all went into savings. Now I’m back to work so the gas will go up again. I’m taking my lunch every day because they closed the cafeteria.
I will miss walking outside every morning. Once I was furloughed, I started walking 3 miles a day right after I got up. Now I’m back to being a slug.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Spending almost nothing, income almost nothing.

I think the economic depression we are entering is the worst crisis since World War II.

nightwolf5's avatar

Yes, because nothing fun is much open for me to spend money at. I just mostly get the things I need. It’s good to save.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Spending has definitely changed.

According to US Bureau of Econo0mic Analysis the US personal savings rate jumped from ~ 8% to 13% in March. That is a huge difference.


The U.S. personal saving rate is personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income. In other words, it’s the percentage of people’s incomes left after they pay taxes and spend money.
March 2020
13.1 %
February 2020
8.0 %
January 2020
7.7 %

KNOWITALL's avatar

@LuckyGuy Hard to spend if you can’t go anywhere! haha!

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy I’m thinking part of that increase is the stimulus money. Do you know, does that statistics get negatively impacted if people are going into more debt?

LuckyGuy's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t know how the government statistical data is collected. Maybe there is more info on the site.
I know I am not spending near as much as before. It just seems wiser to hold off and “keep the powder dry” in case the economy tanks even more.
I guess I’m not the only person in the US to think this way. ;-)

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy Not the only one! I couldn’t agree more. “Rainy days” are staring us in the face. Who knows what’s about to happen.

crazyguy's avatar

As is my wont, according to my wife, I have been saving pennies and spending bug bucks! We were never big on eating out, but we used to catch a movie at least 2–3 times a month. So no more movies, and little or no driving. That accounts for the pennies.

However, we bought a new home, much larger than our requirements. We added a powder room and are in the midst of buying additional furniture. So that accounts for the big bucks.

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