A short while ago – “what I spend in a week + age + location” videos were trending on YouTube. A few of these started to pop back up on my suggested videos recently, and I thought it’d be interesting to see how my own spending habits have been during these *unprecedented* times (and see how things compare when life goes back to normal…)
As has been the case for many – I’ve been accumulating more savings than usual during this pandemic. For one, I’m working from home and thus cooking myself almost every single meal. On a typical week during more “normal” times, I could spend c£8 on lunch 5 times a week, which is £40 just on lunch alone during the weekdays only. I’m also not travelling. This summer was due to be a big one – I was going to a wedding in India, one in Barcelona, and I was aiming to extend my India trip to go somewhere else (which was undecided) and make it into a 2 week trip. These holidays combined would have easily accumulated to 4 digits on my bank statement. However, I’ve ended up saving all of this money instead and I also don’t see myself leaving the UK for a little while. There are other random costs that no longer take/took place during these times – frequent after work drinks, nights out, brunches, day parties, fancy restaurants, general travel and probably many more that I am forgetting.
It’s easy to say – at least when on the topic of savings – lockdown has been pretty fruitful… be it otherwise not great for multiple other things (2020 has been a strange year indeed…)
I decided to choose the week commencing 29th June up to 4th July – for no other reason as that’s when I decided I was going to do this post, and hence started tracking. But I’m several days late with writing everything up because ya know – life happens.
I looked at spending across the 3 main cards I use – my debit card, my Amex card and my credit card. I use my Amex card mainly for the points, and my credit card for the purposes of my credit score (tip: while an Amex is technically a credit card, it’s treated as a “charge card” for the purposes of a credit score which renders it not as useful). I focus on the latter two but use my debit card to pay people back and set up standing orders for thing such as rent.
I’ve included some usual monthly payments that came out during that week in here – but haven’t included rent or mortgage costs.
Accounting for “exceptional items”
Putting my account hat on now and taking out “exceptional” spending costs that do not quite fall into the “weekly” category. This would mainly be that uber drive home to pick up a laptop – without that we get to a “cleaned” spend: £116.54. (I could also remove the £10.95 + £25 cost of returning to my flat if I really wanted the number squeaky clean, which dips us below £100).
I definitely spend a lot more outside of current situation. I’m out and about more, probably on public transport, buying lunches, going abroad etc. Even going to the park and buying some drink, or coming back home to my current flat, are actions resulting only from the recent easing of some lockdown rules. In the thick of this pandemic – I wouldn’t even have been spending that. This also happened to be a week I didn’t do any online shopping which would of course add to the costs – for example once I realised this lockdown thing would last for a long time, I went through a (panicky) period of lockdown where I was buying lots of hair products to attempt to be my own hairdresser, I’ve definitely stocked up on some accessories and gym clothes here and there during lockdown too. It’ll be interesting to see how this compares to my usual spending when life goes back to “normal”…
How have your spending habits changed during lockdown?