If you’re like me, a healthy 60-something in retirement, then you understand when I say, this pandemic has sure put a stop to the plans I had. To be fair, I’m sure it’s changed the plans of well, everybody in the whole wide world, but I can only speak for myself here. And plans for my early retirement years mostly meant spending large chunks of saved-up money to travel, eat in nice restaurants, belong to a pricey sports club (curling for me, golf for many others I know). I also wanted to experience fine theatre, music, museums, and sporting events. You see where I’m going with this. Of course the pandemic of 2020 has put all of these plans on hold.
Money. I can’t say the pandemic has hurt me financially. Yes, a few downturns in the market where my savings mostly sit, but that looks like it’s coming back. As usual, the markets will probably be a wash with a slight upturn, for me. But there are only so many years ahead where I will be able to use up the dough, and 2020 has allowed me quite an unexpected cushion. So cushiony, in fact, that I notice that, subconsciously or not, I’m trying to spend more of it lest it grow too uncomfortably large. Yes, I said that. I don’t want to die with it too cushiony. That’s how I feel. Yes, really.
Here’s a few tips I’ve used to increase spending, and maybe enjoy the change of plans a little more whilst we await our vaccines to rescue our real plans:
Spend more on better groceries. An important part of the new plan now is to stay healthy enough to keep the old body as good as possible despite the ever-draining sands in the hourglass of our lives. That sometimes means spending more, as in:
- Pine nuts. Incredibly expensive, but delicious in the salads I eat more of.
- Any other nuts, great snacks, and now I can have them more often.
- Cheeses (lactose-free for me) from the cheese department, not the regular brands. Who knew how better they could be for more money?
- Breads from the bakery. I’m lucky that I live in a little Quebec small town. I have 2 “boulangerie”s within walking distance. Added bonus – I have to walk to them.
- Meats. You can guess. Better cuts, more expensive.
- Take-out food. Not just Chinese anymore. The fancy Italian restaurant in our neighbourhood also has had to do take-out. And it costs almost as much as dining in! The only reason it is a little less is that of course I have my own stock of wine at home already.
- Wine. Well, hopefully I’m not spending more here on quantity?
Exercise. I started the pandemic with the free exercise videos. But for a mere click of my credit card, I can upgrade to the better ones. They are worth it and I get to spend a few more bucks.
Hobbies. If you know me at all from this blog, you know I’m a new author in retirement. Pre-pandemic, I loved getting out in person to promote my books. I had signings at bookstores, and special events at least once a month and more in the summers. I had great plans for my latest release, published in, sigh, March 2020, but… you know, plans change. So now I’ve learned how to advertise on Facebook and Amazon. I must admit, it’s a great way to blow some cash. So far the sales just about balance out the cost. Worth it? Sure! It keeps me interested, checking the numbers of clicks and sales and spends. It’s better than all the other numbers constantly reported on the news.
TV. We broke down and upgraded to more expensive channels. To get the new series. To watch nightly to pass the time.
Time. Tick, tick, tick. Plans may be on hold, but life isn’t. If, like me, you can do it, spend it.
More stories? Check my books.