A few weeks ago we went to Costco to buy paper towels since we were down to our last roll. They were completely sold out! We didn’t realize Coronavirus hysteria had already taken hold here in Mesa, Arizona. Well…fast forward 2+ weeks and we’re making all kinds of adjustments to our budget and lifestyle and hoarding a few rolls of toilet paper (not crazy levels of hoarding, just enough for a couple weeks). For some reason the “Can you spare a square” episode on Seinfeld always comes to mind when we look at our toilet paper stash! 😊
Anyway, here are a few adjustments we’re making to stay smart about our money:
1 Investing MORE money in the stock market
Yep, we’re being a little bit opportunistic. After watching the market go up and down for several days, (and then down and down and down), we decided to place the money we had been saving for a summer house in the stock market. We’re still young-ish and don’t plan on buying a summer house for 5 years, so we have plenty of runway to recover losses we might have in the near future. As our financial advisor always says, there’s no crystal ball to show the future, but we still think this is a good decision for us.
2 Spending our restaurant and entertainment budget on groceries
Since we really can’t go out to eat, see a movie, go shopping, etc., we’re saving a lot of that monthly budget. We’re supporting our local restaurants through take-out orders and buying more groceries and home supplies, but our bills our lower for sure. It’s hard not to feel a little panicked when you’re in a grocery store and see empty shelves. We’ve been pretty good, but our tiny pantry is definitely a little more packed than it usually is.
3 Keeping cash on hand
We use a small credit union for our personal banking. We’re still concerned it’s going to close, so we’re keeping cash on hand just in case we need it over the next few weeks.
4 Booking refundable summer travel plans
We’re still planning to head to Colorado for the summer, but we’re making sure we don’t have a bunch of non-refundable campground, hotel, and adventure reservations. If we need to, we can stay here in Arizona. But, that’s not optimal since the pools are closed and we’ll sweat like crazy. 😊 Colorful Colorado is definitely calling our names!
5 Applying for part-time jobs
Say it ain’t so! We started looking at part-time, remote work opportunities. Not because we need money to pay bills, but because we’re anxious about everything. We’re thankful we don’t have any debt and we’re already living a very simple life, but having a little extra money never hurts. Stay tuned on this one. It sounds like a good idea in theory, but we’re not all in yet.
6 Downloading books and movies
With everyone using their home internet, it’s quite painful to try to stream movies, music, etc. We tried to download a movie right before we were going to watch it and got a message that it was going to take 38 hours. Yes, we’re retired, but we don’t have 38 hours to sit around and wait for a movie. Since then, we’ve gotten smart and download movies during the night while everyone is sleeping. We wake up to new movies ready to cast to our outdoor TV!
We’ve also been downloading books from our local library. Mesa closed all libraries earlier this week, but we can still download books to our Kindles for FREE!
7 Rotating our own tires
Since our usual tire place is only open limited hours and performing “essential customer service”, we decided to rotate our own tires and change our own oil. Money saved and old skills being put to use!
8 Avoiding the temptation to check our investment accounts on an hourly basis
It’s so tempting to keep looking at our declining balances in our financial accounts, but it’s just not healthy. It is what it is, and we’re in it for the long haul. We’re thankful that we pulled enough money out of our investment accounts back in January to cover this year’s expenses. That means we don’t need to touch our investments for several months.