How Should You Be Spending Your Paycheck Right Now?
April 29, 2020
- How should you approach spending your Paycheck during COVID-19?
- Is now the right time to buy a car or invest more in the stock market?
- Take this opportunity to rebalance your budget
COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. From church services on Facebook and the first virtual NFL draft, to masking up before grocery shopping and practically bathing ourselves in soap or hand sanitizer, nothing feels the same as it did just a couple months ago. This global pandemic changed everything. Should it change our spending habits too?
Is now the right time to buy a car?
If you’ve been driving a lemon and could use a good deal on a new or used car, it looks like we’re in store for a car buyer’s market according to auto experts. Dealers are buying cars at cheaper prices right now because demand tanked in March as manufacturing pretty much came to a screeching halt. When dealers get cars at cheaper prices it means they can pass that discount onto you, the car buyer.
The used car vehicle index is down 11 percent since March, and about 10 percent since last spring. Some dealers have been stocking up during the shutdown, hoping that demand will surge back up as soon as things start to get back to normal. The auto industry will definitely take a temporary hit, but it looks like lower car prices and pent up demand could mean brighter days ahead.
Cars aren’t the only thing that is cheaper
According to the Wall Street Journal, now (and the coming few months) is a great time to buy new clothes. That’s because stores are desperate to get rid of their spring inventory as we move towards summer. Now might be the perfect time to buy yourself a nice pair of (usually) expensive Levi’s 501’s, instead of protecting your paycheck by purchasing the Walmart brand instead.
Is it wrong to take a deal?
Believe it or not, some people feel guilty getting a good deal. Well, fret not. First of all, the dealer probably tried to rope you into a warranty you don’t need, so there’s that. And second of all, taking advantage of markets that are failing is the first step towards fixing them: saying “your product is priced low enough so that we can start building demand back up.”
Many local restaurants are also offering amazing deals right now, focusing on keeping their business afloat and employees paid, rather than on profits. Help them out by participating! Even if those wings seem so cheap you think you’ll feel bad eating them. You’re actually helping the business in the long term! Just tip generously if you have the ability, and remember to visit again after this is all over and prices are back to normal.
Can you save more by focusing on essential expenses only?
Whether you’re one of 26 million Americans who have filed for unemployment, or one of the fortunate ones who don’t need the government stimulus check, now is a great time to consider saving money by cutting back on unnecessary expenses.
If you’re looking for a silver-lining during the global pandemic, consider this a good opportunity to rework your budget to meet your current needs. Put things like mortgage payments, groceries, utilities, and other important bills at the top of the list. From there, consider building a healthcare or emergency savings fund if you don’t have one already. Since you can’t go out like normal, take that extra money you were spending on the weekends and put it towards some of your high interest debt or savings fund.
The bottom line
If you make the right financial moves now, you can not only protect your Paycheck from the virus, but also come out of this making smarter financial choices. COVID-19 has forced us all to look a closer at our spending habits, which could be a very good thing for your Paycheck in the long run. Take this time to ask yourself: was I being as smart as possible with my money before, and can I be a lot smarter with it now?
We’re here to keep you updated on how COVID-19 is affecting our economy as the story progresses. Sign up for our weekly newsletter for real-time updates and advice your Paycheck won’t want to miss.