quarantine spending habits

Do you even remember how you used to buy things outside before the pandemic? I thought so. Just ask the recent Digital Statshot report of We Social and Hootsuite that revealed 23% of internet users in the Philippines spent more time shopping online in the last few months[1]. Realize it or not, you have cultivated your own quarantine spending habits that work for you.

But the thing is, the pandemic will end soon and everything will go back to normal. So have you decided which spending habits you will keep? Because if there’s a positive about the whole quarantine situation, it’s that we were all forced to find new ways to manage our finances. Here are just some of the habits I’m inclined to keep for years to come. 

Quarantine Spending Habits You Should Keep

Comparing Prices and Alternatives Online

quarantine spending habits

Good thing everything’s online now because financial services just got a lot easier, and that includes comparing prices and alternatives. For example, if you needed to have something delivered in the pre-pandemic, you only had at least two courier services to choose from. But now, you can compare prices from Grab, Lalamove, Mr. Speedy, and a bunch of others. 

Whether it’s food delivery or online shopping, can you remember the last time you ordered something immediately without checking the prices from other platforms? The nifty thing is that you can also compare prices for other financial products like credit cards and personal loans online. So as far as keeping quarantine spending habits is concerned, this one’s it.

Saving Money by Doing It Yourself

quarantine spending habits

The big trend during quarantine was cooking and baking. While food delivery sales boomed, many of us slowly realized how expensive relying on them can really be. I learned this first hand when I checked my money management app that I spent over PHP 15,000 on food deliveries in the last six months. That inspired me to just cook my own food instead.

This saved me money because aside from getting rid of my food delivery expenses, I also saved on groceries. This applies to other services, too. Got a pipe that needs fixing? Try fixing it yourself by watching a tutorial online. Roll up your sleeves once in a while even after the pandemic and enjoy the new skills you acquired (and also the savings!).  

Practicing Delayed Gratification

quarantine spending habits

The pandemic pretty much forced everyone to delay every fun thing they have planned for the next few months. At this point, we have now mastered the art of delayed gratification, simply because we have no other choice. But this can definitely be a good thing when it comes to curbing your impulsive spending. The rule: if you can’t afford, delay buying it. 

So when the world eventually goes back to normal, try to keep in mind this special skill you acquired. If you’re itching to make an unnecessary purchase, just imagine there’s a pandemic again: why not focus on what you already have and enjoy the now? That way, you not only save yourself a bunch of money, you also gain appreciation for the things you have. 

Supporting Local Businesses Nearby

quarantine spending habits

For the first few months of the lockdown, we relied heavily on online grocery services for our essentials. It didn’t occur to us to just step outside and buy stuff from local businesses. Since then, we relied on roaming vegetable and fruit vendors, neighborhood butcher shops, and even nearby milk tea shops. It felt like I’d discovered a money-saving hack.

And once this mess is all over, this is definitely one of the quarantine spending habits I’ll keep for yours. Because you really don’t have to leave your home to get the best deals. Take the time to explore your neighborhood because not only will you enjoy local products and great savings, you’ll also be supporting other people’s livelihoods in these trying times. 

Read more: 7 Questions to Re-Think Your Budget Strategy During COVID-19

Final Thoughts

It’s one thing to make money mistakes during quarantine, it’s another to not learn from there. By now, you should be able to recognize the benefits of some of your quarantine spending habits. Because once we’re 100% back to normal, you should come out of it wiser and more money-savvy. Now go sign up for the vaccine already and keep practicing those protocols!

This article also appeared in The Manila Times.

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