Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Cruise
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by Cruise » Thu May 14, 2020 6:21 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 4:33 pm
TheAccountant wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 12:24 pm
I'd be curious to see how everyone's spending habits have changed since the shutdown started.

My fuel spending is down.
Grocery spending has gone down with the addition of meal delivery once a week (go figure.)
$ 0 per month on eating out/entertainment.
Vehicle maintenance expense is down, but that is due to not driving and I suspect this may increase more than usual once I start driving again (sitting is not good for cars.)

Everything else seems to be about the same.
My overall spending is down, primarily because of zero travel spend and reduced dining spend.

My grocery spend is up.

Haven’t been to a gas station since February, and while we mostly drive our EV, even its use is down significantly,

In addition to a stream of anecdotal data points, perhaps some data from Chase is helpful:

https://institute.jpmorganchase.com/ins ... o-covid-19
Thanks for that post. Very interesting.

Pam01
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by Pam01 » Thu May 14, 2020 10:39 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:40 pm
SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 11:08 pm
Normchad wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 10:10 pm
I just received my monthly batch of credit card bills over the weekend. They are the lowest I ever remember them being, so my spending apparently has changed more than I realized. It was further reduced by several large refunds on their for cancelled airfare, hotel stays, etc.
Same here, mainly travel refunds.
I tried to call Chase to move my credit from a card with travel refunds to another Chase card. But Chase plays message that they are busy and provides menu options only for common transactions.

Has anyone been able to move credit from one Chase card to another?

Victoria
Why not send them a secure message?

FlamingoTime
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by FlamingoTime » Fri May 15, 2020 12:53 am

You would think we would have half the expenses. No travel, hair salon, etc but I think we are actually spending more! :oops: More in groceries since we are cooking daily and are stocked up. Sprucing up our outdoor patio. I also blame Amazon Prime because every time we need something, we order it and get free shipping. It's way too convenient. I wish we had said to ourselves, "let's see how much money we can save during the shut down" - but we didn't and it's too late now!

AlphaLess
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by AlphaLess » Fri May 15, 2020 12:57 am

Our credit card bills are down a lot. But not sure if this is COVID caused, or we would have a lull in our travel / entertainment anyway.

We probably spend $1-2K a month just for eating out and similar stuff, and obviously, that is down.

We are buying way more groceries, and these days, not going after sale items either. Also, going out of our way to support local businesses.

Nevertheless, spending is way down.
"A Republic, if you can keep it". Benjamin Franklin. 1787. | Party affiliation: Vanguard. Religion: low-cost investing.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by VictoriaF » Fri May 15, 2020 1:22 pm

Pam01 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 10:39 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:40 pm
SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 11:08 pm
Normchad wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 10:10 pm
I just received my monthly batch of credit card bills over the weekend. They are the lowest I ever remember them being, so my spending apparently has changed more than I realized. It was further reduced by several large refunds on their for cancelled airfare, hotel stays, etc.
Same here, mainly travel refunds.
I tried to call Chase to move my credit from a card with travel refunds to another Chase card. But Chase plays message that they are busy and provides menu options only for common transactions.

Has anyone been able to move credit from one Chase card to another?

Victoria
Why not send them a secure message?
I tried a week ago but could not. I don't recall what the message said: either a multi-week response time or no ability to send an SM. I'll try again. But as I wrote, it's not urgent. I just like to keep my accounting clean.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Pam01
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by Pam01 » Fri May 15, 2020 1:43 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 1:22 pm
Pam01 wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 10:39 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:40 pm
SevenBridgesRoad wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 11:08 pm
Normchad wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 10:10 pm
I just received my monthly batch of credit card bills over the weekend. They are the lowest I ever remember them being, so my spending apparently has changed more than I realized. It was further reduced by several large refunds on their for cancelled airfare, hotel stays, etc.
Same here, mainly travel refunds.
I tried to call Chase to move my credit from a card with travel refunds to another Chase card. But Chase plays message that they are busy and provides menu options only for common transactions.

Has anyone been able to move credit from one Chase card to another?

Victoria
Why not send them a secure message?
I tried a week ago but could not. I don't recall what the message said: either a multi-week response time or no ability to send an SM. I'll try again. But as I wrote, it's not urgent. I just like to keep my accounting clean.

Victoria
I haven't tried to move credit balance from one card to the other, but have been able to have them refund it. Don't remember if that was done with a check or deposit to my auto pay bank account.

Pam01
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by Pam01 » Fri May 15, 2020 1:45 pm

My spending has gone down like most people as I have had to cancel my travel plans. The grocery spending increased early on as I stocked up on things, but has since normalized.

Frank Grimes
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by Frank Grimes » Fri May 15, 2020 2:50 pm

Grocery spending has gone up considerably as we're eating 21 out of 21 meals a week at home now. Which was not too different than we did previously as we rarely ate out and packed lunches 4/5 days a week. But in looking closer we used to have kids in daycare (meals for them there) and eating things like fish and shrimp ($$$) more often in order to have some more interesting things for dinner. Plus I slightly overbuy every week in case I can't make it to the store a particular day and want to keep the pantry healthy.

This has been way more than offset by daycare costs going to zero.

Traveler
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by Traveler » Fri May 15, 2020 3:32 pm

Nothing has gone up except maybe groceries a bit. Many things are less than before:
* 15% discount on car insurance renewal
* less eating out
* less travel (zero right now)
* even cell phone is less because I'm on home wifi almost 100% of the time
* dishwasher detergent, haha, is more because I seem to have a never-ending supply of dirty dishes
* utilities are the same
* about the same on clothes - I'm losing weight so still buying some new items
* less on haircut/color

mega317
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by mega317 » Fri May 15, 2020 4:52 pm

For those getting auto insurance discounts, is that being given across the board, or are you demonstrating less driving? I am probably driving more now but if everyone is getting a discount I want it too.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212

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canadianbacon
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Re: My spending has increased 2-3X since COVID-19!!! Has yours?

Post by canadianbacon » Fri May 15, 2020 4:55 pm

fatFIRE wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 12:13 pm

Doc says I have to lose weight or die (maybe not today, but soon). The only way I can loose weight is using an Oculus Quest
https://www.vrfitnessinsider.com/robert ... ill-going/

I'm not just fatFIRE but fat in real life.
Giving you the benefit of the doubt here. To lose weight, cut sugar, starch, alcohol, and eat protein, fat, and veggies. The weight will fall off. No video games needed (although exercise can be great for stress and your heart).
Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.

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scubadiver
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by scubadiver » Fri May 15, 2020 5:00 pm

scubadiver
Last edited by scubadiver on Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

delamer
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by delamer » Fri May 15, 2020 5:02 pm

I’ve spent more on jigsaw puzzles and board games in the last 2 months than I probably have in my entire life until then...
Last edited by delamer on Fri May 15, 2020 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

7eight9
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by 7eight9 » Fri May 15, 2020 5:07 pm

mega317 wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 4:52 pm
For those getting auto insurance discounts, is that being given across the board, or are you demonstrating less driving? I am probably driving more now but if everyone is getting a discount I want it too.
15% back via check from Geico. Got an email that they were sending rebates. No action required on my part.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

FrankTheViking
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by FrankTheViking » Fri May 15, 2020 5:18 pm

Not doing our weekly restaurant. Might order pizza twice a month which is alot cheaper.

Other than that mostly just consolidated, shopping for necessities every 1-2 weeks in one big haul instead of little runs here in there..... has probably saved us some money on gas and my ice cream habit.
No EF. 80% Total U.S. / 20% Total International. 100% equity. Is there a gun to your head? Is there a tiger in the room? No? What's the problem?

Lalamimi
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by Lalamimi » Fri May 15, 2020 5:23 pm

Retired 2 yrs., our main entertainment was going to Costco, Aldi and HEB. Out to lunch Tues and Sunday. I think we spent more on food, just cooking more. Battery died on my car - $95 to replace through Walmart grocery pick up. Gas for DH's car every few weeks. We are slowly eating out again, take out and dine in. Not much online shopping, don't need new clothes, not going anywhere. I did search and find my Spring makeup foundation - got at Walgreens. Then put it on and donned my mask. Duh. No need for makeup to go out. First haircut in 4 months.

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tomander
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by tomander » Fri May 15, 2020 5:50 pm

I bought a crokinole board! :sharebeer

masteraleph
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by masteraleph » Fri May 15, 2020 5:53 pm

A lot less on restaurants, a lot more on groceries- both price gouging, stocking up, delivery fees, and also cooking more interesting and fancy stuff since we're home all the time.

More on toys, because our daughter is at home 24/7 instead of at school.

sean.mcgrath
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Spending habits during the great lock-up

Post by sean.mcgrath » Sun May 17, 2020 1:42 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

I finally got around to filling out my "spend" spreadsheet for the start of the year. I knew we had been spending less, but was blown away: our total spend Jan-April YoY is down 40% (excludes savings and charitable giving, both of which went up).

In the Netherlands, we get a subsidy for having a child at home. For the first and likely last time ever, we actually made a small profit on the kids. :beer

I mean, I get we're not having haircuts and that we have a pretty discretionary-heavy lifestyle; but we don't go out to restaurants or movies/theater/concerts. We do typically do city weekends with the kids, so that's a chunk. However, all nine of my spend categories are below last year to date.

Now I am curious: how does others' lock-down spend compare with a year ago?

cheers,
Sean

02nz
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Re: Spending habits during the great lock-up

Post by 02nz » Sun May 17, 2020 1:52 pm

Use the search box. There have been threads on this already.

Tortoise2030
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Re: Spending habits during the great lock-up

Post by Tortoise2030 » Sun May 17, 2020 1:58 pm

I think we are spending less, too. I usually have to transfer money into our household account to cover additional expenses, but I haven't had to do that lately. (knock on wood)

Patzer
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Re: Spending habits during the great lock-up

Post by Patzer » Sun May 17, 2020 2:21 pm

My spending is down 70% so far this year, compared to last year.

Spending is down at least 60% in all categories except for:
Clothing (Down 40%) (Went to a wedding in February, but haven't bought anything since.)
Groceries and Household Supplies (Up 30%) (Eating at home instead of out which is a different category. Using more paper products.)
Charitable Giving (Up 180%) (Trying to support hard hit organizations I care about.)
Last edited by Patzer on Sun May 17, 2020 2:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.

dukeblue219
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Re: Spending habits during the great lock-up

Post by dukeblue219 » Sun May 17, 2020 2:26 pm

Our restaurant tab is now well above normal; we're ordering much more takeout to support our favorites and tipping a bit more too. We've also very recently started making more impulse purchases (silly things like a big pack of Bombas socks, and more useful things like a better monitor for WFW). Groceries are up slightly since we've been buying larger quantities to fill out the pantry and freezer.

Overall it's down though since preschool canceled all payments, we aren't going to any paid activities for us or the kids, and we aren't spending squat on gas/parking.

We're fortunate to have very secure jobs, though, so we have not focused on saving extra dollars and are just trying to push through each day.

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JoMoney
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Re: Spending habits during the great lock-up

Post by JoMoney » Sun May 17, 2020 2:31 pm

Initially, I spent a little less on gas/petrol, because my commute to the beach is shorter than my commute to work... but that's changed as I find myself doing more aimless driving looking for places to explore and hike.
I also spent less on dining out, take-away food is a bit cheaper, and I'm not picking up the tab for anyone else.
I spent a little more on groceries, as I've felt the need to have a slightly bigger supply of the stuff I do eat at home... but at some point that will average out if I later let my pantry go back to a less buffered state.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

TravelGeek
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Re: Spending habits during the great lock-up

Post by TravelGeek » Sun May 17, 2020 2:46 pm

02nz wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 1:52 pm
Use the search box. There have been threads on this already.
Here's an example :

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=314507&start=50

Poorman
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by Poorman » Sun May 17, 2020 3:02 pm

Spending same. I don't foolishly spend money before or after

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CyclingDuo
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Re: Spending habits during the great lock-up

Post by CyclingDuo » Sun May 17, 2020 3:30 pm

sean.mcgrath wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 1:42 pm
I finally got around to filling out my "spend" spreadsheet for the start of the year. I knew we had been spending less, but was blown away: our total spend Jan-April YoY is down 40% (excludes savings and charitable giving, both of which went up).

In the Netherlands, we get a subsidy for having a child at home. For the first and likely last time ever, we actually made a small profit on the kids. :beer

I mean, I get we're not having haircuts and that we have a pretty discretionary-heavy lifestyle; but we don't go out to restaurants or movies/theater/concerts. We do typically do city weekends with the kids, so that's a chunk. However, all nine of my spend categories are below last year to date.

Now I am curious: how does others' lock-down spend compare with a year ago?
Another example thread on this subject is here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=313602

CyclingDuo
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Caduceus
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by Caduceus » Sun May 17, 2020 3:44 pm

Apart from overall food costs going down, everything has been pretty much the same. I don't own a car, but public transportation costs have definitely gone down, though it's not like I spend much on that anyway. I have no rent or mortgage payments, no car payments, no recurring entertainment payments (like Netflix), and I don't even own a TV, so it really has been pretty constant even with the stay home situation.

I've made one large antiques purchase though, which I'm not sure whether to attribute to the extra time spent at home.

EnjoyIt
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Re: My spending has increased 2-3X since COVID-19!!! Has yours?

Post by EnjoyIt » Sun May 17, 2020 4:07 pm

fatFIRE wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 11:58 am
[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

I'm not too sure what to make of this.

I usually have pretty regular/predictable spending patterns, but my expenses have gone up 2-3X since Mar when WFH and COVID-19 lock down started. My health has been adversely affected by COVID-19, and that has increased spending as well. It's like a triple whammy between WFH, COVID-19 and COVID-19 induced health conditions.

Normally, I would be appalled by how quickly and how much I'm spending, but I've internally justified it based on "its an emergency" and "I can afford it". I'm wondering if anyone is in the same boat?

Increased Expenditure On
1) COVID-19 supplements to boost immune system: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Quercetin. I'm basically following most of MedCram's prophylaxis regiment, and he deals with COVID-19 patients on a daily basis. Some of these costs $30 per bottle it ain't cheap.
2) COVID-19 equipment to kill the virus: Spent almost $500 on Molekule air filtration system (it supposedly kills viruses, but only demonstrated on bacteriophages not COVID-19), and another $150 on a normal air filter with UV and ionizer functionality. Spent another $200 on a UV sanitizer (it's like a microwave oven, you put your phone/keys in and cook it in UV for 8min). I may buy another Molekule as I have a separate office space now, and this one is going to be $800+ because the living room has a much larger space than my bedroom :(
3) COVID-19 cleaning supplies for disinfecting the home: Hand sanitizers, lysol wipes, disinfectants. I've never bought any of these until recently!
4) COVID-19 PPE to protect myself when going outside: Disposable gloves, surgical masks, and now P100 filters, and I'll look for a 3M gas mask soon. I'm also thinking of buying one of those cheapo disposable hazmat suits. I'm also considering getting more N95 masks, and paying inflated prices on those.
5) COVID-19 induced health problems: Because of health problems induced by the COVID-19 environment, I now have to spend extra money on fiber drinks, green tea, sugar-less options, garlic pills, health foods, etc. as well as prescription medication.
6) COVID-19 induced WFH equipment: Had to buy a new table and setup a home office, because I was literally dying from WFH, and this was the only way to prevent my career from plunging to its death.
7) Oculus Quest... I paid a bloody $200 markup (total $600) for this crap. I have NEVER overpaid for anything in my life. I'm always the max discount person. Needed Oculus Quest to improve my health, it's also a 'buy this or die' scenario.
8) I would probably incur expenses with my therapist and teledoc visits, but those luckily have been waived/covered by my employer. I have not seen a doctor since like... 2013? I usually incur ZERO medical expenses.

The only thing that has dropped in expenses has been auto-related... its been 2mth and I never refilled my tank. Also I eat out everyday and that has dropped somewhat.

I haven't done my Apr budget, but I'm sure it's going to hit the roof!!! I'm also quite upset over this, but at the same time these are "necessary expenses".

I'd estimate conservatively I've spent at least $3k on COVID-19 related expenses since Mar, and I have NEVER have so much unplanned spending in my life. My unplanned spending has historically been ZERO. In comparison my largest planned spending just last year was $1.5k for my gaming PC, which is something that I enjoy. So I'm spending 2X more unplanned compared to planned, and for stuff that I don't "enjoy"...
Your COVID protection is sooooo overkill. I can't believe it.
at work I am around COVID and none of us do all the crazy stuff that you do.
Hey, if it makes you feel safe and allows you to sleep better at night, I get it. But maybe just talking to a psychiatrist may help far more than buying more useless junk. Thats right. Useless junk.
The only thing you need is masks and some hand sanitizer. At home soap and water is all you need.

Next, you need to lose weight. Instead of buying expensive toys, have you considered going for walks or bike rides?
Have you considered cooking and eating healthy meals instead of all those supplements?

I'm sorry, I agree with your assessment. You are using COVID as an excuse to act irrationally and financially irresponsible. I have read your other posts and I am pretty confident you know better.

I wish you luck in getting this thing figured out.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters. | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418

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LadyGeek
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 17, 2020 4:16 pm

I merged TheAccountant's and sean.mcgrath's threads into the on-going discussion. The combined thread is in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

sean.mcgrath
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Re: Has Your Spending Changed Since The Shutdown?

Post by sean.mcgrath » Mon May 18, 2020 3:54 am

LadyGeek wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 4:16 pm
I merged TheAccountant's and sean.mcgrath's threads into the on-going discussion. The combined thread is in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).
Thanks, Lady Geek.

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