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The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has changed so many things in our daily lives. From wearing face coverings when in public, to converting to a working (or learning) from home schedule, many families' lives look different than they did last year. These changes have extended to the way that families spend as well.
Although many families from Toronto to Hong Kong are struggling through job losses that require them to tighten their financial belts, general spending has taken some interesting turns. Many economic experts wonder if these trends will last after the pandemic is over.
Let’s take a brief look at how the spending habits of families have changed during the pandemic.
With most entertainment outlets like theaters, theme parks, and recreation centers closing their doors during the pandemic, families are forced to find other ways to have some fun. Quarantine restrictions have made it difficult for families to get out as they used to in many places. The money that was once spent on a trip to the local theatre or a trampoline center is now being diverted to other needs.
Enrollment costs for expensive childhood activities like sporting teams, dance troops, and school trips have all but disappeared. On average, families save up to $2,000 per month on registration costs for their children’s activities.
Families are finding ways to avoid boredom at home. A Netflix membership is a cheap and fun way for families to bring some entertainment right into their living rooms. Backyard camping and living room dance parties are taking the place of costly outside attractions.
The average “soccer parent” used to spend over 20 hours a week shuttling their children to school and activities. That can mean up to $100 per week in extra gas cost. With activities put on hold and many children switching to homeschooling, parents save a bundle on their fuel costs.
Added to those savings is the cost of gas to and from the office weekly. Millions of people have converted to working at home, which saves them a ton of gas money. In some cases, families have been able to drop the insurance on one of their vehicles, saving them even more. If you’re one of the few who still has a weekly commute that’s eating into your budget, finding payday loans in Toronto can help with the financial strain.
Some restaurants are still open for take-out service, but the large majority of establishments have closed their doors during the pandemic. For a modern population that relies heavily on take-out food for several meals a week, many households have changed spending and cooking habits.
Families are having fun cooking from home and discovering new and delicious recipes that the whole family enjoys. Many families claim that they are saving hundreds of dollars a month by preparing their meals and have no intention of going back to their old ways.
Many things about the pandemic have had a devastating effect on millions of people around the world, but for families that have been forced to adopt new habits, saving money and changing their spending habits may be a change that is welcome and will last into the future.