At the beginning of the pandemic, we were forced to change some habits that contributed to unplanned spending cuts.
These are the spending cuts we plan to continue even after the pandemic is over.
Barbers were shut down during the pandemic, so I became the boys’ official barber. I have been cutting my boy’s hair for the past year. So far I only know how to do a buzz cut, which luckily looks good on all of them. LOL. This year I plan to learn how to do the blending technique.
We didn’t need to buy any supplies because Marc already had the clippers set. The clippers set cost us about $50 from Walmart.
We used to pay about $130, including tips, for the boys’ haircuts. (And by boys, I mean Marc, Kaeden, and Kenzie). They usually get haircuts every 6-8 weeks. Doing the boys’ haircuts myself saved us about $1,100 in the past year. This is a spending cut that will not be hard to continue.
Dog groomers were not completely shut down during the pandemic. However, since I was doing the boys’ haircuts I figured I can do the dog’s haircuts as well. Ambitious, I know, but the only way to know is to try right?
I ordered dog haircut clippers, scissors, and nail clippers from Amazon, which totalled about $100. We already had the dog’s shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, and toothpaste at home. These may cost you an additional $50 if you don’t have them at home.
We used to spend about $160 for both Cooper and Gizmo’s grooming, every 8-10 weeks. Doing their grooming at home for the past year has saved us $1,040.
Our doggies might not look as spiffy and are probably missing their free bandanas (not! LOL) but this is a spending cut that we will definitely continue. I’m getting better at it, practice makes perfect, right?
Mani and Pedi
Marc and I used to go for manicures and pedicures for some date nights.
Side note: I used to just go by myself, but one time Marc drove me to my appointment and I said “why don’t you just get a pedicure too since you’re waiting for me?” And he did. And I’ve unknowingly created a monster. LOL.
When the pandemic started nail salons were shut down. So for the past year, we haven’t had any manicures and pedicures done in a nail salon. I’ve tried to give myself and Marc a pedicure once at home. For Marc, it was a success (he fell asleep, LOL) but for me, it was a fail. Not as relaxing when I’m doing the work myself.
It costs about $150, including tips, for both Marc and me to get a manicure and pedicure. For the past year, I’m guestimating that we saved about $900.
Manicures and pedicures will probably still be part of some date nights post-pandemic but we’ll try to just go half as much. So we’ll still continue saving about $450 a year. Compromise enough.
Watching movies in the theater was me and Marc’s go-to date night. We also loved going to the theater with the kids for a family fun day.
We usually watch on a Tuesday for date night because tickets are half off. But even at that, our total at the theater for date night can go up to $60 for the tickets and popcorn. When we’re with the kids the total can go up to $140.
During the pandemic, I guestimate that we saved at least $1200 for not being able to go watch a movie in the theaters. This is a pandemic spending cut that will be easy for us to continue.
We have subscriptions to Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime at home, as well as an unlimited supply of popcorn. The kids actually find movie nights at home more fun.
Before the pandemic, we had a family membership to our local YMCA which costs $158/month. Marc also had a membership with Orange Theory that costs $115/month. Since all the gyms were locked down since the beginning of the pandemic, we saved $273/month the whole time.
To keep ourselves motivated with workouts, we did turn half of our bonus room into a workout space. We bought a treadmill from Canadian Tire for about $800. We also bought some weights and bands from Walmart that cost about $100.
Marc wants to go back to Orange Theory in the fall when the kids have had their COVID vaccination. He will opt for the lower tier membership that would probably cost about $85/month. Another option would be to get a Peloton bike and membership which would cost about the same monthly. We haven’t really figured this one out. But either way we will still continue to save almost $200 a month.
In total we saved about $7,000 in the past year due to the spending cuts that was “forced” on us. We decided to keep some of that amount in our emergency fund. The rest was spent on items that helped our kids not go crazy from being at home all the time last year. LOL
The lockdown was definitely good to us financially. Our workplaces became busier so we had to work more hours while being able to do some spending cuts. We acknowledged the fact that we were one of the lucky few and most actually had to cut expenses due to losing their jobs.
How did the pandemic affect your finances? Chat with me in the comments below.