View all Credit News & Current Events articles

Has the Coronavirus Affected Your Financial Habits?

The global pandemic has changed a lot of aspects of life. For most of us, our routines have changed so much; it feels as though we're living a completely different life from only a few months ago. The same holds for the way many of us are treating our money.

Sure, there are some financial habits that we had no control over when it came to changing them. With restaurants closing, there's no more dining out or going to a bar to be with friends. We have to cook for ourselves or order delivery or curbside pick-up. With movie theaters, stadiums and arenas closed, we aren't spending money on the entertainment we once took for granted.

However, there are some financial habits that people have actively changed. What are they? Who better to tell us than myFICO Forum members?

myFICO Forum Members Talk Money

We asked myFICO Forum members if any of their habits have changed due to coronavirus. Some of their answers may surprise you—others might sound familiar because you've taken the same action. Take a look and see if any of our members' changes sound like something you may want to do yourself.

  • Reduce dining out. Most members have decreased the number of times they
    dine out—a few of them going from 3 to 4 times a week to 3 to 4 times
    a month. Of course, their "dining out" experience only includes delivery or
    curbside pick-up, with some of them ordering out to help out local
    restaurants. All in all, it's a big savings for a lot of people.

  • Less discretionary spending. Members are finding they are spending less
    money on discretionary items (i.e. luxury and unnecessary items) which means
    they are saving more money. Uncertain of what the future holds, they'd rather use their money for more productive purposes.

  • Pay down revolving debt.
    With less discretionary spending, some members have decided to use the extra dollars to pay down debt. This not only helps them from a credit perspective, but as mentioned above, it's a way for them to use their discretionary money for more productive purposes.

  • Grocery store thoughtfulness. It used to be we'd go to the grocery store and a couple of days later return to pick up something we forgot. Now we want to make as few trips to the store as possible. Plus, we want to make sure we're only buying the things we need, not everything we want. That's why some members have started to think and plan very carefully before heading out to the grocery store.

  • Holding on to cash. You might've heard the term "cash is king." In these
    unsettled times, some people are holding onto their cash just in case. Will
    unemployment hit them? Will something in their home need repair or
    replacement? Will their car break down? Not knowing what the future holds,
    having cash on hand is helping many myFICO members feel comfortable.

  • Gardening. Wait... gardening? What does that have to do with changing financial habits? Rather than applying for new credit some myFICO forum members have chosen to garden.
    'Gardening' means that you're not applying for new credit and let your current accounts age. Join the Garden Club on the myFICO Forums.

  • Sacrificing wants for needs. Some members are giving up the things they
    want, like a new television or cell phone to pay their monthly bills. One
    member had to sacrifice a video game he'd wanted for a long time to pay his
    Internet bill. This is a time for all of us to choose our priorities very
    carefully.

  • Learning. Some myFICO members have decided to take online
    courses—not only to spend their time more effectively but to land a
    new virtual position using their new-found knowledge. This is a great time
    to learn the things you've always wanted to.

Although we could be going through similar issues because of the coronavirus, we're all in different financial situations. That's why some of the new financial habits shared by members might work for some people and not for others.

One important point to keep in mind is when reading the posts on myFICO Forums: no matter what, we are all in this together. Join the community and start a discussion about your financial goals or how the current situation is affecting you.

Rob Kaufman

Rob is a writer... of blogs, books and business. His financial investment experience combined with a long background in marketing credit protection services provides a source of information that helps fill the gaps on one's journey toward financial well-being. His goal is simple: The more people he can help, the better.