Post Lockdown and The Spending is Easy
Since March of 2020, we have all been in some stage of lock-down. This has forced us to change our normal spending habits. Working from home has saved us on money on gas, tolls, parking, and even insurance costs. No more take-out lunches or dinners out. Impulse spending was halted as retail stores were closed and only essential items were made available. All of this adds up to big savings. Overall, Canadians have saved about $230 billion dollars throughout the course of the pandemic. Now that measures have eased and cities are reopening, Canadians are excited to emerge and spend again. Economists foresee a summer spending bump as businesses reopen. It’s expected retail trade, accommodations, and the food service industry will be the ones leading the economic rebound this summer.
For consumers, this translates into more retail shopping for items like summer clothing, foot ware, and housewares. Bookings for vacation rentals and travel become popular again as travel restrictions are finally lifted. Restaurants have opened their doors and are welcoming diners to spend inside and out. All this adds up to the start of dwindling consumer savings or the alternative, the accumulation of debt. Credit card companies are ever anxious to have you spending again to beef up their profit line which has taken a hit due to consumer savings paying down debts.
We have shown great restraint in spending over the last sixteen months. When you think about it, it was easy considering we had no choice in the matter. Governments made the decision for us by closing businesses. This allowed many of us to re-evaluate our spending. Habits are very hard to break but we all know the advantages of taming our spending. Having savings in the bank adds a cushion of safety to our lives and reduces the anxiety about the future. If another series of unfortunate events occurs, we can ride it out.
While we do encourage everyone support of local businesses to help them economically rebound from a tough year, it is equally important we budget our savings and plan for future days ahead.