Pandemic savings burning a hole in your pocket? Maybe it’s time to spend a little ‘yolo’


After 16 months mostly in jogging pants with little more excitement than snagging a nice grocery delivery window at home, it’s no surprise that many Canadians are ready to loosen up a bit now that COVID-19 restrictions are picking up.

Millions of Canadians experienced job losses and other economic hardship during the pandemic, during which nearly 1.5 million of us fell ill with the highly contagious virus, which as of Friday had claimed 26,472 lives in Canada. Millions of others suffered emotionally and financially during the months-long lockdown. Front-line and essential workers did not have the luxury of working from home.

But for those lucky enough to stay healthy and snatch a little cash because they were no longer coming to the office, dining at restaurants or spending big bucks for kids’ extra-curricular activities, it could mean Spending a little “yolo”.

Taking its name from the mantra “you only live once,” the phrase is being used to describe the surge in demand for consumer goods and experiences that we didn’t have during the painful months of the pandemic.

There are good reasons why we spend times in stressful times to give us a little boost, said behavioral economist June Cote, professor of marketing at the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Business School in London.

“The one thing one can really do is reduce negative emotions,” Cote said. the cost of living Host Paul Howersrud. “We joke about retail therapy, but for many people, if they are sad or if they have concerns – depending on the COVID pandemic or some other reason – they can restore a sense of control by making a purchase.”

That’s because when we shop, we have a sense of agency of choice, Cotte said—a pleasant contrast to matters we haven’t had a choice on until recently, such as kids in class. When will I return or does any relative share COVID-19 misinformation on social media.

Plus, when we get something new, we get a rush of dopamine — a type of neurotransmitter that plays a role in feelings of pleasure, she said. The effect is magnified when it is something we are planning and anticipating.

Retail Sales in Canada on Rebound

The statistics make it clear that on an average we have more money in our pockets than usual. In 2020 alone, Canadians saved more than $212 billion, compared to just $18 billion a year agoAccording to Statistics Canada.

YOLO spending may already be underway. Canadian retail sales are restarting. There are long lineups to come to HomeSense or snag a coveted table in the restaurant’s patio. in America, Lipstick sales up 80 percent in spring As people prepared to take off their face masks and go back in public.

Quote’s advice for making the most of the splurge made with the money saved this time? Spend it on experiences.

“A lot of consumer research and social science in general has shown that we get more pleasure from spending on experiences than from spending on material goods,” she said. “Because we’ve been deprived of it for the last year and a half, I think now it’s going to be even more so. But spending on vacations, food, movies – it’s not very expensive things. But they give you some kind of physical Gives more pleasure than buying stuff.”

That’s because the experience brings with us a new purchase at a more fleeting high, in part due to a phenomenon known as “hedonic adaptation,” Cote said.

“The idea is that you think it’s going to bring you joy for a long time, but you bring home something new, this new shiny item. And very quickly, it becomes a part of your daily life.”

That’s why Emily Farina of Oakville, Ont. plans to direct her pandemic savings to travel. “I saved about $4,800 in GO. [Transit] Cost of commuting and parking in a year, money I redirected to my holiday savings fund,” Farina, who holds an MBA and works in real estate infrastructure, said in a conversation on Twitter.

She said she plans to visit two of her favorite US destinations, one in Miami’s South Beach and one in New York, to reopen Broadway in the fall.

nesting

But during the pandemic the demand for goods and services that improve homes and gardens, which have been our refuges over the crisis, will likely drive some post-COVID spending as well.

Susan Boles has spent so much time at her London, Ont., home since the pandemic was declared in March 2020 that she started noticing that the place looked a little tired. Luckily, he has accumulated some cash.

Boles, who works from home as a feature writer and writing coach, said, “I wasn’t eating out with my friends or even having coffee with them. I didn’t buy clothes or anything for my home.” Had been.” “I booked a trip to Belize, and it got canceled.”

Now that restrictions are lifted and the family starts planning things like Thanksgiving instead, Boles wants to spend some of those extra funds to fix up their house. “Oh, my gosh, I need to paint. My light fixtures are really bad. And so I’ve started planning my next steps to use that money to give my home a little refresh. “

She said she also plans to spend a portion of her savings on a road trip to visit her sister in Virginia — and that instead of traveling to Belize with a friend, she’ll visit Eastern Europe, where she’s the most. Wants to travel more. “After the pandemic, I’m not going places I never really wanted to go. Life is short.”

Like Boles, Toronto personal finance writer Renée Silvestre-Williams, author of a newspaper called The Budget, is really eager to fix up her house after living in it.

“I just have the urge to re-decorate everything. I want to buy a new sofa. I want to buy a new light. I want to buy new cushions. I’ve decided I dislike my bedside lamps. And this There’s a lot of money,” Silvestre-Williams told Paul Howersrud. Instead of buying it all at once, she’s saved her favorite items on Pinterest while she takes the time to consider what fits her budget—something she recommends others do as well.

If you see something you love, online or in a store, “close the tab, go away for a day or two and really think about it.” If it fits your budget, go ahead. Although it’s less exciting than an impulse purchase, that said, credit card debt is even less fun.

Adiola Omol, a Calgary lawyer-turned-wealth-coach who specializes in helping people get out of debt, recommends making a distinction between mindless spending and the kind that actually brings happiness, the kind that Buying a new bike from her is meant for her husband, a cycling enthusiast.

Omol told Howardsrud that unreasonable spending could result from boredom or engaging in all these months, and could lead to feelings of despair or regret. “But when you target your spending on things you absolutely love, there’s an excitement there.”

Conscious Consumer

Vicky Sanderson found herself re-examining her relationship with material possessions during the pandemic, as the crisis coincided with a planned downsizing from her Toronto home to townhome. “I just started really thinking to myself, ‘What do you want right now, what would make you happy, what would make you feel good in this moment?’ And it never came back to the stuff.”

Instead, what the interior design spokesperson found herself yearning for during the lockdown were simple pleasures, like walking the piles at her local library. “It’s the kind where it probably feels a little flaky, but I spent so much time outside, so much time by myself, I really started to reconnect with the feelings of being a kid and being out.”

“And the more I had, the less I looked at stuff and said, ‘I want to keep it.’ And with every box, I felt lighter and happier and more in control.”

As for the money he saved on taxis and restaurant bills and other expenses during the pandemic? “I bought myself a really nice pair of hiking sandals—and really nice rain boots and a nice raincoat and a sun hat.”


Written by Brandi Weeks. Produced by Anis Robert Hedry and Paul Howardsrud.

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