The Money We Spent (and Lost) During Our “Lockdown”

The Money We Spent (and Lost) During Our “Lockdown”

After somewhat recovering from the anxiety and self-pity I’ve put myself through in the past couple months, I got curious about how our spending patterns morphed during our state’s recent “lockdown”.

For our area and our family, the most affected time period so far was March 15th – May 15th, so that’s what we’ll look at. A few major events to note:

We Lost a Lot of Income

While my husband’s income stayed the same as he moved to a “remote teaching” platform, I was forced by state mandate to close my business and subsequently had to fire 90% of team. I lost about 30% of my income in March, 100% in April, and 75% in May and June.

I am lucky to have a financially conservative business partner and a strong business that is going to survive this blow (we are now open again and back to employing a full team), but this has still been thoroughly wretched for everyone involved.

Our Summer Vacation got Ruined

Yes, we had to cancel that epic Europe trip. We got some refunds and some possibly useless vouchers for soon-to-be-bankrupt companies, and we’ll be out a few hundred to a few thousand dollars when all is said and done. C’est la vie.

That international adventure was replaced by a really fun stateside adventure. We’d like to extend heartfelt thanks to the close family and friends who allowed us to visit, knowing full well that they were our second choice after Portugal.

We Sold Our House, Went Minimalist, and Moved Out of Town

We listed our primary home right before the poo hit the fan with Pandemic 2020, and it sold for asking price that same day. The housing market in our area has stayed strong, and our buyer never flinched between the offer (late February) and the closing (late May).

So we gave away or sold almost everything we had, and moved the remainder of our belongings into one side of Sedona House, which was vacant due to the “We Hate Tourists” policy briefly adopted by every tourist town in the world before they realized how badly they needed tourist money.

But I digress. Let’s move back toward what we spent during this upsetting and very disruptive two months.

Our Normal Monthly Spending

These are categories that stay more or less steady, and below are the most recent numbers I have in each of these categories. The mortgage shows the mortgage for Sedona House. In reality, vacation renters paid most of that mortgage payment for March and April, and utilities there have been lower that those listed below, which were taken from our previous “primary home” property:

  • Mortgage, taxes, and insurance: $2,600
  • City utilities (trash, water): $71
  • Gas utilities: $64
  • Electric: $81
  • Childcare: $753
  • Car insurance (2 cars): $97
  • Cell service (2 phones): $55
  • Netflix: $12
  • Health insurance: $611
  • Life insurance: $37
  • Disability insurance: $290

That total is $4,671, so these expenses totaled us about $9,342 over the course of the 2 months in question.

Our “Lock Down” Spending March 15th – May 15th

  • Moving truck rental: $170
  • Gas (2 cars and moving truck included): $285
  • Dining “Out”: $596
  • Groceries/Pharmacy: $2,159
  • Other shopping (clothes, etc.): $307
  • Home Improvement: $265
  • New internet service at Sedona House: $140
  • Other (including Mother’s Day gifts): $644

That total is $4,566 for that 2-month period, or $2,283 per month – half of which was over-spending on groceries. (Our normal, uninhibited grocery/pharmacy spending in 2019 was between $500 and $700 per month.)

So our average monthly spending during our lockdown was $6,954. This was very similar to our average monthly spending for 2018 and 2019. This total includes our moving expenses, and does not account for reduced mortgage payments thanks for vacation renters and reduced childcare expenses due to the closures.

The State of the Emergency Funds

Despite all the unexpected losses and expenses above, we actually didn’t touch our emergency fund. It was nice to know it was there, but with all of us healthy (albeit jobless, school-less, and going stir-crazy at home) we didn’t need it.

The proceeds from the sale of our primary home are ear-marked to pay off our out-of-state rental property. We are now holding those in reserve (so you could say we’ve actually added to the emergency fund during this time) until we’re sure the mass panic of this crisis has blown over, because it’s never been more true that “cash is king.”

But for now, you’ll find us on the rocky coastline of the Pacific Northwest, learning how to paddle board.

Flowers in front of a calm ocean on a rainy day.
A rainy day on the Saratoga Passage, where we’ve ended up spending a lot of our summer.
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