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Money Management: The Pandemic Has Shifted Americans Spending Habits, But Not Their Budgets

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Money Management: The Pandemic Has Shifted Americans Spending Habits, But Not Their Budgets

It comes as no surprise that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on consumer spending habits. A recent survey from Bank of America revealed that a whopping 64% of Americans reported changing their spending habits since the start of the pandemic. This, accompanied by changes in investment strategies and retirement contributions, has resulted in an overwhelming shift in many American’s approaches to money management. 
 
Restaurant closings, travel restrictions, limited gathering sizes, and millions of unemployment filings have been the driving forces behind these spending changes. And with wide-spread closures re-implemented as cases begin to resurge, the need for newly developed spending habits will persist.
 
But do our budgets reflect these new ways of spending?
 
One way to track these new financial changes is through the use of online budgeting tools. For over 30 years, personal finance software company Quicken has been providing a solution to help you manage your money. This includes tracking your spending, investments, retirement plans, and more.

And to help you start on your financial journey, Quicken is offering 40% off its personal finance software from 12/23/20 - 1/7/2021. 
 
Quicken’s software shows you all of your spending habits at a glance. You can view all of your transactions, as well as, how much of that money is being spent in various categories (i.e. bills & utilities, food & dining, entertainment, home, auto & transportation, etc). These categories are also customizable and Quicken’s machine learning will even remember your personalized categories for future transactions.
 
Since the application tracks all spending and any future bills, Quicken can predict your financial future. The money management software will show you how much you have left to spend after you pay your bills, create scheduled transactions, as well as, project & forecast future inflows and outflows across different time horizons.

Creating A Budget

After the pandemic, 64% of Americans said that their spending habits will not be the same. Whether that’s replacing dining out for cooking at home, a night at the theater for a night of streaming Hulu and Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX), or switching out the gym for an at-home workout regime, it’s safe to say that the ideologies around spending have changed.
 
But these newly adopted spending habits should also be accompanied by a new budget.
 
Creating a budget using Quicken is mostly an automated process. After connecting all of your accounts, their software can scan your transactions to create a budget based on your recurring expenses. This budget can then be customized to fit your lifestyle — placing more money towards your priorities and cutting back on non-essentials.
 
While the pandemic has forced many of us to rethink our financial habits, one takeaway is the emphasis that has been placed on saving money and cutting back on discretionary spending.
 
Changing your budget can be overwhelming, especially given the abundance of financial changes many have undergone this year. But having a financial tool that automatically tracks any changes and assists in creating a budget to match can help make the process easier.
 
It’s impossible to know how spending and investing will change post-COVID, but hopefully, through budgeting and careful money management, more Americans will feel in better control of their finances.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

 

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Posted-In: budgeting tools money management QuickenNews Personal Finance General

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