Spending Like It’s 2019

Setting spending targets and using budgeting apps can help tame the urge to live it up (now that we can again).

photo illustration of woman looking at phone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For the introverted and the frugal, the pandemic has offered a welcome reprieve from the social pressures to go out and spend money. Although I am grateful for the vaccine, easing travel restrictions and the renewed freedom to safely gather with friends and family, I’ll admit that the return to social life at first was a bit of a shock, not in the least to my wallet.

During the pandemic, the savings rate soared. But after hitting a 45-year high in April 2020, the rate began to decline in 2021 and will likely settle near its historic average in 2022, says Elizabeth Renter, data analyst for NerdWallet.com, a consumer website.

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Emma Patch
Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Emma Patch joined Kiplinger in 2020. She previously interned for Kiplinger's Retirement Report and before that, for a boutique investment firm in New York City. She served as editor-at-large and features editor for Middlebury College's student newspaper, The Campus. She specializes in travel, student debt and a number of other personal finance topics. Born in London, Emma grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Washington, D.C.