COVID-19: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Change Our Spending Habits

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, including how we spend money. Are you spending less right now? Many people are. Here’s how to make the most of that opportunity.

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In conversations with clients, colleagues and friends, there’s one habit many seem to struggle with: spending money. No matter how much we earn, the amount we spend often impacts more of a person’s future financial success than their income, savings or investment returns. Try as we might, cutting back our spending is never easy. Until now.

The current pandemic has impacted all of us. For more than 40 million Americans, it’s meant the loss of a job and a steady income. For those fortunate enough to have their health and their jobs, nearly everyone I’ve spoken with is spending much less money than they were three months ago.

We know there eventually will be pent-up demand for travel, dining out and other activities. My family is already dreaming about the vacations we will take. However, this forced spending reduction may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-evaluate our spending habits, invest more and reshuffle the financial deck. The question now is: Can we sustain a modified spending level once we solve the COVID-19 puzzle and return to a more normal life?

Here are some recommendations on how to make at least some of these spending cuts permanent and bolster your finances:

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Josh Monroe, CFP®, ChFC
Associate Wealth Adviser, CI Brightworth

Josh Monroe is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and a Chartered Financial Consultant designee who listens actively and plans thoughtfully to help clients achieve their goals. He joined the CI Brightworth team in 2019 as a Financial Planner. Before CI Brightworth, Josh spent eight years at a leading insurance and investment firm in a variety of roles, including compliance and supervision. Josh is passionate about financial planning and making complex concepts easy to understand.