Did Covid-19 change the way you spend money?
Common sense said it did. Almost everyone has been affected by the pandemic, in one way or another (notably, following MCO rules to the best of our ability, correct not). Most people are spending more on groceries and online shopping, and less on everything else and offline purchases.
This is my guess based on what the media reported, but how true is that statement in my personal life?
So I thought, hey why not make a direct comparison of my spending pattern, before and after Covid-19 hit? In what way did my personal spending change, in each expense category? I can do this. I track my expenses. I have the data.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be using,
- Before Covid-19: My average monthly spending per category (as recorded in My Total Income and Expenses in 2019)
- During Covid-19: Data collected since MCO started on 18 March 2020 until time of writing, (almost exactly 3 months worth of data)
Expenses Comparison: Before & After Covid-19
|Category||Before Covid-19 (from 2019 Expenses Data)||During Covid-19 (from 3 Months' Data)||Comments|
|Utilities & Rent||RM1,292.96||RM972.34||Average reduced as landlady (bless her) waived one month's rent|
|Business||RM1,271.90||RM2103.79||Coincided with #MYMoneyStories book printing & distribution|
|Dates & Travel||RM1,240.16||RM15.83||What travel?|
|Donations & Gifts||RM634.05||RM2,957.35||Biggest increase. Happy to do it|
|Groceries||RM495.32||RM513.17||Surprisingly more or less the same|
|Insurance & Medical||RM454.39||RM166.33||Maintained medical card and PA insurance. Reduced as no longer seeing chiropractor|
|Public Transportation||RM377.44||RM43.38||Significantly reduced travel. Also used up SOCAR credit|
|Misc Needs||RM354.44||RM340.37||This seems to be my average, MCO or no|
|Misc Wants||RM345.74||RM36.66||Didn't buy much non-necessaries|
|Social||RM354.44||RM6.57||Friends, I miss you!|
|Food||RM116.48||RM141.63||Increased non-groceries food expenses. Ok la, was puasa also|
|Mobile||RM80||RM66.70||Lucky enough to be able to generate enough referrals to offset mobile cost|
|Total average expenses per month||RM6,864.73||RM7,364.12||Roughly RM500 increase, but mostly due to Donations & Gifts category|
As you can see:
- Biggest increases are in categories: Donations & Gifts and Business
- Biggest decreases are in categories: Dates & Travel, Insurance & Medical, Public Transportation, Misc Wants & Social
- No or minimal changes in categories: Groceries, Misc Needs, Food (Non-Groceries) & Mobile
- Overall, my expenses actually increased by almost RM500, if compared before and after Covid-19. Mostly due to Donations
Old me would be worried about appearing to be humblebragging, but new me embraces and – dare I say it – is proud of my own actions. I didn’t just encourage people to donate, I also put my money where my mouth is. Almost RM3k per month in donations is really stretching my budget but if there’s a worthy YOLO occasion, this is it.
How has Covid-19 affected your monthly expenses? Which expense categories significantly increased and decreased for you? Let me know in the comments section 🙂