Life & Money in Times of Corona

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    by Lindsey Boycott

    Life & Money in Times of Corona

    Corona & I – Netflix 4Eva

    The first case of Covid-19 hit the American coasts in January 2020. Most of us didn’t know then, but our lives were about to change – and not for the better. As things got more serious, I found that with each new pandemic restriction put in place, my world was getting smaller and smaller. There was no socializing, no restaurants, no cinemas, no skiing or snowshoeing. Even leaving the house was a problem.

    I was lucky enough to have a steady job during the pandemic, but I wasn’t that good at managing my money. After everything that gave me joy or helped me cope was taken away, I ran out of bandwidth for Zoom meetings and # We’reInThisTogether social media propaganda. And my expenses reflected that state of mind.

    I was all about weird Amazon purchases, streaming services, and skip the dishes (UberEats). The most expensive thing I ordered from Amazon was a 12 foot kayak for about $ 700. Surprisingly, they delivered it to my door. But most of my expenses were on food. So much for food. The delivery service was my food, socializing, and entertainment. Trust me; It was not nice.

    Life & Money After the Pandemic

    14 months fast forward and most restrictions have been lifted in my city. For the first time in over a year, I was able to visit most places without a mask and pick up on all the things I used to enjoy. Summer was here, and a bright new world beckoned me with its promises of freedom. But I didn’t get any of it. I would open my blinds and watch this strange place outside of my home with wedged suspicion.

    I didn’t know it then, but my less than enthusiastic reaction to life la vida normal was pretty typical. I mourned the way my life used to be and was not interested in investing again without some reassurance that my relationships and hobbies would not be banned from investing once positive Covid-19 cases hit any number.

    My money was paying for things that gave me a false sense of control. Since Netflix will never be banned because of Covid-19, I thought, for example, that it was an emotionally and financially safe investment. I also paid for my distraction need with slices of tuxedo chocolate cheesecake, servings of linguine rosé with prawns, and plates of eggs benedict. No, I don’t weigh 400 pounds, but I’m a little surprised I’m not.

    The end & the beginning

    After a while, I realized that what I was doing was only hurting me. When I wasn’t at work, my life had become a series of tiny rooms full of large, blank screens, and it was time to change. I made a very conscious decision and it is still a work in progress. I subscribed to YNAB and took a close look at my expenses. The numbers revealed some unflattering truths about my choices, but it was important to see things clearly.

    The first to go was food delivery expenses, closely followed by my streaming service subscriptions. I have kiboshed several other subscriptions, cell phone extras, and Amazon Prime. But I also wanted to bring something back into my life, so I bought a personal training package from my gym. It’s expensive, but I enjoy it and it gets me closer to my health goals.

    At some point I started to feel a spark. There are now ideas and plans. My transition from the closed Covid caterpillar to the beautiful Live My Best Life butterfly is still in progress. But there are things I look forward to and I have a financial plan to help me get there.

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    Let go

    Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

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