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Spending less during COVID?
Old 02-23-2021, 09:17 PM   #1
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Spending less during COVID?

Are you spending less during COVID?

To set this up...we FIREd in 2019, but I do about 200 hours/year of handyman work. We are 59/62. Our annual spending is around $90k.

We sure are spending less, but not by choice! About 35-40% of our budget is discretionary....we normally spend a lot on travel (about 6 trips/year....one of those international), I have expensive car hobbies (muscle cars), I spend a lot in my woodshop (hobby, not to sell), and we went out to eat about 3x/week).

When COVID hit, we stopped all travel and did not eat out other than occasional carry out. The woodworking hobby increased, so I spend more there. But overall we’re spending about $1,400 less per month than before.

I told DW that we will make up for it when we can....we’ll take 10 trips next year or more expensive trips lol.

Yes, we are spending more on groceries and utilities....but still we’ve spent $15k less over the past year. We are very blessed to be in the financial situation we are, and look forward to getting out and around soon. Want to post more in the blow-that-dough thread.

What about you?
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:38 PM   #2
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Our total spending for 2019 pre- COVID was about 81K

Our total spending for 2020 was about 67K

So yes, definitely less due to COVID primarily from two categories: travel and dining out.
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:06 PM   #3
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Yes definitely spent a lot less money. We had a month trip booked for August in Europe that never happened.
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Old 02-24-2021, 08:45 AM   #4
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Same here, probably averaging about $1000 per month less on dining out and travel.
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Old 02-24-2021, 08:47 AM   #5
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I know we're spending more on restaurants now, since we're trying to order out more to support our local favorites. We did cut back on everything when I wasn't working for a bit, but now we're trying to make up for it.

No travel, of course, but that was always very lumpy for us. We took some very big trips some years, but others we'd just go to the family cabin or visit friends.
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Old 02-24-2021, 08:47 AM   #6
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I spend about the same. Instead of spending on restaurants and vacation, I spend on home improvements and hobbies.
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Old 02-24-2021, 08:54 AM   #7
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A little bit less, but not a big difference.

Didn't go anywhere for vacation, so that saved a few $K. Eating out a little less, but we didn't spend a whole lot on restaurants before COVID.
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:01 AM   #8
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Total spending in 2020 was more than $15K less than in 2019. It was mostly due to lack of travel, while the rest of the expenses stayed roughly the same.

In 2021, even without travel, we will spend more than in 2019 due to buying a new vehicle. I may be able to squeeze in a domestic trip towards the 2nd half of the year, else cannot find anything to "blow some dough" on. How much can a person eat or drink, before he also blows his health?
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:16 AM   #9
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One of the benefits of not having a life is that when there's a pandemic i'm just like "there's a pandemic". My spending didn't change at all.
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:18 AM   #10
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I'm down about 25%
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:19 AM   #11
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We are spending much less on travel and gas but more on hobbies and home improvement projects. Overall we spent about 15% less in 2020 than 2019.
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:25 AM   #12
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Far less on travel, but more on groceries. Overall, 26% less in 20 than 19.
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:35 AM   #13
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My wife and I have both been working from home for about a year now so we've saved a lot on gas. Other than that, Florida has pretty much remained open. Very few restaurants that we frequent were closed for longer than a couple weeks. We have tried, and still try, to support local "mom and pop" places as much as we can.



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Old 02-24-2021, 09:56 AM   #14
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Down by 1/3 including bumping taxes up by starting Roth conversions. Alot was going out the door at restaurants and taverns. I bumped my grocery spending but no way will fine dining at home cost more than eating even low cost restaurant meals.
What is really amazing was logging into Fido Retirement Planner and seeing how much is expected to be in the pot when I am gone. I thought maybe it was defaulting to an average case, not worst case. Last I looked was in May. Between market growth, a year of low spending, and one year less to go almost doubled the remaining balance.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:04 AM   #15
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The only real change for us was not taking a trip to Mazatlán for a couple months over the winter, saved about $4000 in condo/apartment rent and flights.

I've lost some gig income because we haven't gigged in a year but that was negligible anyway.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:08 AM   #16
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Our after tax spending is down by 35-40 percent. Zero travel, zero dining out, zero shopping other than the occasional on line purchase.

We are grounded. Travel is a large part of our spend.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:15 AM   #17
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Probably a wash. No travel, dining out, and very little gasoline expenditure. But we had a lot of work done-new driveway and replacing part of a crumbling sidewalk. We had plumbing issues in two bathrooms, and was on first name basis with the plumber for a couple of months.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
Probably a wash. No travel, dining out, and very little gasoline expenditure. But we had a lot of work done-new driveway and replacing part of a crumbling sidewalk. We had plumbing issues in two bathrooms, and was on first name basis with the plumber for a couple of months.
It appears that a lot of people spent money on their homes, due to being homebound and not having other outlets to "blow the dough". Around my 'hood, I see a lot of dump trailers parked in front of homes that are going through major remodeling.

In the same vein, Home Depot just reported good earnings. Sales in Q4 2020 were 25% more than Q4 2019. Yet, stock price went down, because they could not offer insight into whether this sales increase will last.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:41 AM   #19
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Those of you that are spending less, do you feel less content?

Those of you spending on different things, will this be a permanent change?

We have spent a little less on everyday things, quite a bit less on travel since we have now missed two snowbird trips, but more overall since we bought a new car...

I don't see anything changing for good, we have done OK without driving out West to snowbird, but most certainly will resume it ASAP.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:49 AM   #20
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I miss the travel and eating out. Will be resuming both/ weeks after second dose.
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