Have you noticed how your spending has changed during this time?
Lots of people are spending less because income is way down, others because they just can’t spend in the same ways. Our family is spending less on just about everything except groceries. With both kids back at home (and super healthy eaters) our grocery bill is much higher. But, just about everything else we spend money on is less.
This extended break in our daily routines gives us a great opportunity to really look at how our spending reflects what we truly value. This is a really good thing and can be so helpful as you look at your post-stay-at-home lifestyle.
Below are five questions to answer in this really unique time that will get your future spending off auto-pilot and directed in much more conscious ways.
- What have you spent money on in the past that you no longer value? For me it’s biking. Once I stopped going to spin class when the community recreation center closed I realized how much I truly love running and really don’t like cycling. And now, lacing up my running shoes is back on my workout list. Might not seem like a big deal financially but cycling can be expensive (those cushy bike shorts don’t come cheap.) How about you? What are you ready to let go that will also have you spending less?
- What did you spend money on that you really miss and realize you want to keep spending money on? For me I realized that I really want to have my nails done. I know, this may be minor in the scheme of important things to spend money on, but I realize it’s an expense that’s worth it for me. They currently look bad, really bad. I can live with that. But they are also weak, require lots of attention and it bugs me. Dipnails here I come (when it’s safe!) What do you realize you really appreciate spending your money on?
- What do you now realize is very important in your life that doesn’t cost any money? This is easy for me – time with our family. We’re super lucky. Both kids are home and are being really good sports.This was us on Mother’s Day. Benjy made brunch and Amy made dinner and requested formal attire. Make a list of what you value that doesn’t cost anything. I bet it’s long.
- What did you think you’d miss that you actually don’t? I love to travel. And I’m surprised how much I don’t miss it. It has helped me realize I also love being home. I’m sure I’ll get back to travelling. But I’m now open to reassessing how high on the value list it really is and how much we should plan for future expenses. What is it for you?
Once you’ve answered these questions… here’s one more.
5. How will you create a values-based spending plan going forward? This experience will give you the real life knowledge of what you truly value. I’ve talked in my book about the importance of having a values based spending plan. Now you can do this with actual experience to back it up. If you want more on setting up a values based spending plan – check out this video.
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