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Hello All,

With all that is going on in this world right now, I thought I would take a moment to place some positivity that we can put into our lives. When it comes to our finances, COVID-19 and social distancing can help our financial picture in at least two everyday activities. Consider the following:

1) Restaurants/Bars

This is a category of spending that I'm guilty of allocating too much money to. I am the type of person, and maybe you are too, who always has to be doing something. By 6pm I'm already bored and feel a need to go with my wife to a restaurant/bar- my excuse usually being a really great sports game on television- fill in the sport, i.e. football, baseball, basketball, hockey (this was an all year long excuse). From years of working with clients, this was a common thread for many.

Currently in California, all of the above is no longer a valid option. This was 30% of my overall spending plan. I'm taking this opportunity to add 30% back into savings. I'm also taking this opportunity to cut alcohol completely out of my diet for the foreseeable future, because the cost is just not necessary during this time.

2) Health and Fitness

I've always been a fitness junkie and have found it difficult not going to the gym on a daily basis. However, a gym is not an ideal location to stay germ-free. I have put my gym memberships on hold for a couple of months. The money I save here will be added to my savings.

It is very important to keep your mental and physical health up.  Especially during stressful times. So, I have vowed to walk, run, hike outside daily (weather permitted) and to doing some body weight workouts in the house with my wife. This is great quality time together and helps to keep the sanity. In addition, I am setting aside 10 minutes in the morning to do some guided meditation. Both meditation and fitness are proven to improve overall health, which reduces health care costs over time.

There are many more areas where we could be improving our finances right now. It would be really amazing if we all challenged and motivated each other to find positive habits and changes we can make during an uncertain time.

Any other ideas of how we can improve our financial lives during a difficult time??!

Michael Metzger, CFP®
Founder | Certified Financial Planner ™
[email protected] | 805-234-7288
www.lifepointfd.com

 

 

Michael Metzger CA Insurance LIC# 0H86440 is a Registered Representative with and Securities and Advisory 
Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.
 

 

Original Post

@Michael Metzger  Thank you for sharing. 

I've been having these same thoughts.  If we can manage/contain our anxiety and stress, this mandatory pause can be a very positive time.  It's definitely a time to come back to basics and just focus on the essentials.  It's a time to be introspective and take stock and commit to making some longer-term changes.  

Would love to hear other thoughts/opportunities for positive growth that you Penny Hoarders might have.  Please keep the conversation going.  

sthom posted:

Sounds like the things you are saving on due to the coronavirus outbreak are all positives. Now, if I could stop the at-home snacking like a 7-year old

Just a thought, your signature includes what is basically advertising and I'm not sure PH guidelines permit that. 

@sthom I appreciate your reply. I understand your comment with my signature line, but unfortunately it is a regulatory requirement in my industry.  My own personal social media sites are required to have the same. I assure you my intention is not to advertise but to encourage positive financial behaviors and spread knowledge on the subject matter. I expect to receive no financial gain from this forum to be clear.

I started to run to the grocery store yesterday for some bread and a few other staples.  I have not been since the hoarding began but follow local closings, hours changes, and information funneling through my Next Door app which is an neighborhood app that is centered on geographically local information. Most of the grocery stores in our area are having supply problems.

 I've decided to just make do with what we have in the house and canceled my trip to the store.  

I'm beginning to feel anxious that I only have one more piece of chocolate left, but I'm going to avoid the grocery stores until the stocking issue is not an issue.  Saving money (check), using up existing supplies (check), avoiding crowds (check), losing some weight (check) and we have doubled our daily walks because we don't have to be somewhere right now! (check)

I know how everyone is still afraid as to what to do when it comes to this virus. Simply put, just by remaining calm and collective is key. No need to overly anxious about something we cant control. But what we can control is what we do. For instance when it comes to social distancing, we can keep our selves safe by following just that. Also as being a good neighbor, we can check in on the ones who are much older, to see how they are doing, maybe read them a funny joke or just listen to their funny joke or so forth.

Now when it comes to the food situation. There have been some smart moves I have implemented to make food last. 1) Dont spend all yr time eating, find something else to do with yr time, watch TV esp if it is free or read a book or if you have been putting off cleaning that whatever, do it in blocks of time, like 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Now this suggestion is only a suggestion, dont take it and run with it. But you could surf the internet, without having the need to buy something. Also for those who have dogs, maybe give him or her a walk more than once a day, if say you have the time, maybe yr working from home, if u have kids old enough, have them to walk the dog. Do you have any board games, we use to do them alot when I was younger, and even if you dont or you have younger kids, have them draw pictures of yr Family or someone else. You may want to brainstorm with yr wife or husband on how you will spend your time inside. Sit at the table and write things out that dont need money to do. How bout going to the park or taking a drive to a beautiful place or to just drive, that's what we use to do when I was young, my parents didnt have alot of money so we would just drive to the beach or to just some place we knew or how bout driving to a place you never ever been too? 

Also How bout reading a book that is very interesting, like the Bible. There is many things that God who's name is Jehovah can teach you. How bout looking in the attic, maybe you can reminisce with some of the older things you have tucked away, that you havent seen in years. How bout just sitting around the table and talking about what has been bothering you, not with each other, but having an honest conversation about life. What you may find out about the other person may surprise you. Or do other things as a Family, watch old movies you may have tucked away or things like that. There is so much you can do since alot of us has alot of free time. Make the best use of your time, because as the Bible says in Ephesians 5:16 making the best use of yr time because the days are wicked...

Luckily we enjoy our own company. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to plan out our day.  In the morning we have “me “ time. We take long soaking baths, work on genealogy, maybe a bit of cleaning. We cook and eat our own lunch as we like different things. We meet in the living room for a movie that we alternate who chooses then play cards until dinner. I try to make a new recipe everyday. My library has downloadable books and recorded books. We also video chat with family and friends, especially the 4 grandchildren. Keeping connected is so important! We are 71 and 74 and try to keep a positive attitude. 

My Mom is in a nursing home which most, including her's, have banned visitors even family unless it's a dire emergency.  The home took photos of most of their residents holding dry erase boards sending messages of encouragement to those of us not able to visit and posted them on their home FB page.  It was a fantastic idea.  They are also making tablets available to residents for those who can facetime or skype.

One of the major concerns for seniors is the damage isolation can do to their well being.  If you are at home with extra time, send some cards and letters to nursing homes.  I doubt they will give you a name list but a generic happy note can do wonders.  My Mom can no longer write so it's prolly going to be a one way gesture for so many, but it's a simple idea that costs 55 cents and the cost of paper and ink. And trust me when I tell you how important contact like that is to the elderly.

Last edited by mintjulep

hello  everybody,  I thought I check in I am ok, I was advised ,  by my doctor  at the clinic , to continue to stay home cause, I am retired  and over 65 , and diabetic, .. mean while I am doing ok  up date on my credit collection ,( I do spend some time on this page , during my confindment =) I am being creative learning to take 30 day challenge , by rethinking about my life style , asking lord for his guidance)

I won actually the collection lowered, my settlement thanks to Transunion ,Equifax, I was able to settle  she said longer I waited out the better chances I had,  so my total settlement was $1594.00 from old  hospital bill 2016, they gave me chance to pay off $265 .. so  I paid it in full. now credit karma, gave me score of 718 . the customer service rep at medical collection was super fantastic I told him my  horror,, story so he was so kind let me pay the full amount .. I use to be scared to death talking to all 3 creditors, they changed over the years I really prayed , ask lord for his guidance  learn to speak with these folks, so moral of story its not to late to ask for help with all 3 creditors,  there attitude over the years has changed .  collection company  changed they don't come and arrest you for non payment I totally got ripped off  my bank gave me full restitution ..thought I pass this on to my..Penny Hoarder folks  . im so blessed I love Penny Hoarder. Remember no need to fear when you want to make amends with your creditors.  were all in this together.  be safe . stay healthy out there good way to start building up your credit is with Finger hut I bought something I needed I was able to pay $14  a month for 6 mo. then I bought new computer for 9 months all credit payments goes to  your 3 credit union so easy to make payments on time , feeling blessed...Evelyn Orourke . Hudson Fl 

I too am looking at all of my little payments/subscriptions, but I'd pretty much cut them to the bone already. And, I'm not about to give up up Amazon Prime (my only subscription now), which I've been a member of since 2008. I use it for shopping, movie watching, and who wants to give up the ability to shop from home nowadays. I've placed the dog's insurance temporarily on hold, but making sure she has good food, vitamins, dental rinses, eye drops, pre- and probiotics, and walking her much more when I'm up to it. I'm really trying to limit my snacking and that little (okay, significant) extra expense. Oh, I've not had a haircut since January! 

I'm doing more library book checkouts. I have some on reserve but our city's (Houston) library system is shuttered for now. I still have 2 books (decorating) with me though. Oh yes, I use the library's online video system, Kanopy (https://www.kanopy.com/), which provides excellent movies, old and the latest. I've found smaller and unheard-of-before movies (by me, anyway) and they also have a lot of old movies (think, North by Northwest). Check it out. My plan today is to put weed control/fertilizer on the lawn. And do some search engine evaluation work.

My AAA bill is coming up next month, and I really don't want to let that go. My car is a 2006 model bought new but the older it gets a few more problems. As time goes along, I'll keep you posted where else I was able to cut, and will continue to peruse the forum for cost-cutting tips.

 

Okay, another cost-cutting measure this month. I switched cell phone providers for an extra Gig of data and half the monthly price. The plan otherwise is exactly what I was paying for my previous low-priced plan. I've also been bumping up my emergency funds at every opportunity with little side gigs. Also got a $240 refund from my healthcare--straight to an emergency fund. Expecting a property tax refund by end of the month--straight to one of the emergency funds. Stimulus check--straight to an emergency fund. I'm cooking with gas now...well, until an emergency comes anyway.

Thanks for asking, @Michael Metzger .That healthcare refund was from my cancer policy because I had 2 stool tests, 1 at end of 2019 and 1 earlier this year. This was a benefit I knew nothing about because who really reads their policy, amIright? I also forgot to mention that I was paid $30 for a 30-minute telephone interview with a financial site I regularly visit. That was nice; took it in the form of an Amazon gift card. And shout out to PennyHoarder for awarding me a Member of the Month reward also (I think I got that last month though).

I also have $55 coming from a mystery shop on the 20th. It's all about socking away cash for me right now, not increasing debt payments, just maintaining  them until I feel more comfortable financially. I'm just trying to stay safe and healthy until I can have another surgery, which most likely won't be happening this year. Again, I'll say that this forum gives me so many good money-saving ideas that sometimes they bubble over.

 

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Hi, I am Karen. I am new to the penny hoarder. I don't even know how I got them in my email, but I loved some of the ideas and reading other people's positive experiences on here, so i thought I might add mine. Last night I applied beneficial nematodes in the gentle rain, (lol) to my yard to control and rid my yard and dog of fleas and other pests naturally for this coming summer is right around the corner. Nematodes are safe for dogs and kids and relatively inexpensive. This saves on my vet bills. I have started a garden because I have more time for one, now that COVID-19 has kicked in. This gives me some needed exercise and will help me choose healthier eating habits. (I have recently grown rather fond of chocolate ice cream....yikes!!) Also saving on grocery money! 

I have been catching up on some needed cleaning. I cleaned my carpets and my windows myself. I raked and mowed my yard.  I don't think I will be getting bored soon. There are so many things that need attention. 

 I did order something from Amazon too: a steam cleaner! Who knows, maybe I can make some extra money with that! And if not, I can always steam clean my dog (jk) and my house. Not giving up my Amazon Prime either anytime soon!

I am saving so much money on gas for my truck, now that I am staying at home.  And gas has gotten so much cheaper, wow! I filled up every gas can I have. It won't be this cheap forever! 

And this is basically how I am trying to stay positive during all this!

...Now if I can just kick the ice cream habit.

 

 

 

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