Whether you like to stick close to home or travel abroad, consider how best to plan your next adventure. Start setting savings aside, reactivate your travel rewards credit card, and look for discounts that can be redeemed with enough flexibility to account for any change as the end of the pandemic unfolds. If your travel plans or flights were cancelled as the lockdowns started, reread the terms and conditions of any vouchers you may have received. Take advantage of what you already paid for before shelling out for more.
Many Canadians discovered how big a bite eating out, snacks on the go, and drinks on the run took out of their budget. And almost as many people discovered how much they like to cook and eat at home. This budget category is one you have a lot of control over, especially if you combine it with some basic meal planning. If you like to pick up take-out or dine with friends, factor that into your budget and enjoy this pleasure guilt (and debt) free.
How did your recreation choices change during the pandemic? What changes will you keep as your community opens up again, and which will you abandon in favour of how you did things before? Depending on your activities of choice, there might be more free/lower cost options now than before. Adjust your budget as you answer these questions for yourself.
Whether for clothes, home décor, household items, or toys for yourself or your kids, what did you discover about your shopping habits during the lockdowns? Did your needs and desires change based on changes to your activity levels? Only you know the answers to these questions, but most of us discovered that we have more than we truly need. If that was you, think about how you’ll incorporate that into your post-pandemic spending plan.
As they say, make hay while the sun is shining. Take advantage of the low interest rates to make as big a dent in your debt as you can. Once you’re back to a stable level of income, consider what debt consolidation option is best for you. Even if you’re not seeing the extremely low interest rates on your products, e.g. credit cards, lenders are and it gives them more flexibility to help their clients than when rates are higher. Waste no time executing your plan once you have one. Interest rates are expected to stay low through next year, but if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s to expect the unexpected.
The unexpected can happen at any time, so think of savings as your personal insurance policy for whatever comes your way. If you didn’t factor savings into your pre-pandemic budget, you need to consider that savings is an important expense going forward so that you’re well protected whenever the next unexpected situation or opportunity comes your way.