The pandemic has forced us all to live smaller lives - more introverted, more focused. We have new perspective on what we can and can’t live without. So when all this is over, what elements will you keep from your quarantine life and what will you lose from your old life? We’ve got some thoughts.
Lose: Living cheque to cheque. Might as well admit it: rainy day savings, emergency accounts and nest eggs have long seemed quaint to those in possession of a perfectly valid credit card. Now, having an accessible stack of cash is looking pretty advantageous and smart. Financial planners have been telling us for years to ‘pay ourselves’ every month by shifting at least 10% of each paycheque into a tax-free savings account. An old idea, with new relevance.
Keep: coffee nation. Loads of caffeination is the wind beneath our collective wings right now. According to a recent story in The National Post, consumer demand for packaged coffee is up some 73 per cent compared to this time last year. The US declared coffee as “essential critical infrastructure”, which is obvious to anyone dealing with an exponentially increased load of cooking, laundry, dishes, cleaning, homeschooling and Zoom calls.
Lose: Shaking hands. Moms have been telling us to wash our hands for years – after coming in from outside, returning home from school, before cooking or sitting down to eat. Yet it seems shocking so many adults are only now re-discovering the art of frequent handwashing. Will everyone remain as diligent once the pressure of a rampant virus is off? Seems like relegating the germ-passing act of handshaking to the realms of history is a pretty easy choice.
Keep: Job flexibility. Working from home was a novelty for decades and then suddenly in 2020, it became law. Millions of people have learned how to carve out a space and a routine to work from home and companies have adapted with remote network access and video conferencing. The result is that we’re all equipped to work this way again. Ideally, this can lead to more workplace flexibility and fewer geographical constraints when it comes to job opportunities.
Lose: Overspending. While in the past, a dozen pairs of black shoes may have seemed necessary, doing more with less – and spending less than we earn – is finally starting to feel right. Remember those ballooning grocery bills? Now that we’ve all learned how to bake bread, make ice cream, and plant herb and vegetable gardens, why would we ever go back to overspending on bland, stale, packaged versions?
Keep: A dozen pairs of comfy pants. Yoga pants with no intention of yoga. Joggers with no intention of jogging. Sweatpants with no intention of sweating. How are we ever going to wear non-stretchy fabrics again? And why would we? There seems to be little point, to be honest.
Whether the pandemic has caused you to have a decrease or increase in personal funds, it's never too late to talk to a financial advisor about your future.