After about three or four months of staying at home, I realized we had more money in our checking account and that it was much easier to pay the regular bills, with money left over. I'm not certain where that extra money came from, but I do know we've spent less on gas and eating out than usual. We just took a nice driving vacation, but because we had free use of my brother and sister-in-law's condo, it cost very little.
We've actually spent more on home projects this year: gardens, landscaping, a shed, new garage work bench, and so forth, but I think in the end we've saved more than we spent by going out less. I attended a workshop years ago in which Anne Lamott was the keynote speaker, and she mentioned using "retail therapy" to cheer her up. I'm guilty of that too. I've used shopping as entertainment in the past and sometimes purchased things I really didn't need. Being forced to stay at home more has broken me of that habit (Amazon shopping isn't quite the same, though I indulge there too much, I admit). In general, I've learned to be satisfied with less, and that means spending less. I'm happy about that.
I have not tracked my expenditures to see if I have saved money during the months of the pandemic, but I do know that I have spent less on some items. I haven’t bought makeup in months, buy less gas and eat out less. I have been fortunate enough to take two trips this summer, but both were more economical because of driving due to not feeling comfortable with flying. But then again, I’ve purchased more entertainment/ hobby items and more household “stuff” (all fairly useful). Since I feel somewhat deprived of my usual activities and pleasures, I have treated myself to such tasty items as a chocolate tart and gourmet ice cream and don’t give it a second thought!
Ironically, we saved money for the third time on a trip to Yellowstone. This was the third time we had planned to go and I guess we could, but neither of us feel that safe about traveling again. Just as the virus hit, we had planned to go see a cousin and introduce Leroy to about the last person in the family. Oh well, I guess and hope this will come later and that we will be able to do it. I am sure they have stayed in as my cousin's wife has had many health problems.
Otherwise, it seems that we have saved money in much of the same areas. Less eating out! Still have not been to a restaurant inside. Less make-up to purchase, just moisturizer. No new clothes, but a t-shirt or two to fit the current issues. The gas bill and any recommended maintenance on the car are much less. The biggest saving is probably time going to meetings, not the attending, but the travel to and from. That savings has been enjoyed. I'm not sure I will want to return to the previous level. Some decisions will have to be made.
Last week I got gasoline for the first time since the end of February. We were used to filling up 2 SUVs each week before that. Probably $100 per week. Saved: 6 mo x 4 x 100 = $2400.
I haven’t visited the beautician at all since end of February. I used to spend about $150 a mo (including tip.) 7 x $150 = $1050.
We used to eat dinner out at least 3 times a week, and lunch 2x per week. 2 Lunch ($40) and 3 dinner ($75). 26 weeks x $115 = $2990 (we’ll say $3000.)
No new makeup, ($30) no new clothes ($200) , no gifts for Svea ($150), no theaters or concerts ($500) = $880
No traveling. We canceled Ed’s 50th reunion from Harvard in Boston. I did not go to my step father’s funeral in MN. I didn’t visit my sister in NY, or Kent in PA. We didn’t visit the Schoenhals’ in Michigan. All these were planned. I will estimate this at $4000.
That comes to:
No matter what I have saved, it doesn’t equal the quality of life I have given up during the pandemic. Thank God for Zoom and my friends.
There’s no question that staying at home all the time has changed a lot of things, including where the money goes.
Some of these things will be permanent changes, but to be honest I think we will resume a lot of them. I’d rather have the experiences than the money.
As you can see from the picture, my favorite outfit since March has been some comfortable old sweatpants, an oversized stained but warm sweatshirt, and slippers. I wear the sweatshirt year-round because I am always cold in the house. Sometimes I add a blanket. No picture of undergarments, but I prefer a cami to a bra for comfort.
Newly married women would probably never be caught dead in such an outfit day in and day out, but what can I say? After 20 years I think it’s ok. Besides, it matches the no makeup-no hairdo look above the neck. If I’m going to the grocery store I step up my game by changing into jeans and a t-shirt, putting on shoes, combing my hair, and donning a mask.
Favorite ???? Old T-Shirts, shorts, sandals. There is no favorite in my world. I'm just tired of all of them.
Not that I want to wear sequins and sateen, but I sure would like a little change of pace!
The dress for Covid is definitely casual, a t-shirt and capris. I usually wear earrings as a habit. I do wash my face and put some moisturizer on and that's it for facial care. I generally wear tennis shoes as I walk most days. When in the house, it is bare feet for me. I used to be able to walk outside with bare feet and I still may walk on the grass that way, but my feet are so tender that not too long ago, I went a short way down the street on a hot summer day and blistered the bottom of my feet. I won't try that again. Sometimes I do miss wearing the other things in my closet and it easier not to try to keep up with any fashion except my own.
I don't so much have a favorite outfit during Covid, as I do a style. Because it's been really hot this summer, I dress accordingly. My Covid style includes: