Taking a Look At Our Pandemic Finances

Yonge Street. Normally jammed with people and cars is empty during the pandemic.
We are currently on week 7 of the pandemic lock down. It has been a strange seven weeks. The biggest take away from this pandemic is that life will be far from normal when things settle.

Wifey and I are fortunate in that we're both still employed and earn steady paycheques. We're also fortunate that we haven't been forced to take a pay cut or reduced pay.

We're also lucky that we haven't needed to commute to work. Wifey has worked from home for almost 8 weeks now. I have primarily worked from home for almost 7 weeks. I have needed to go into work from time to time, but usually only for a few hours at most.

Due to this, one expense that has been completely eliminated is the cost of gas. The last time I filled up the tank was on March 15. Since the price of gas has been significantly lowered, that fill up cost $26.22. Aside from driving that day, we have only driven two more times since then. One trip was to drive on the highway for a bit as the car wasn't used for over a month. The second trip was to go to the grocery store to get bulky items like flour and rice. Things that couldn't easily be brought home considering the weight of the items. Although, wifey was driving for the entirety of January and February, we paid only $122.60 for gas. Or an average of $61.30. Not much savings, yes. However, it does add up.

The next obvious expense that also has been eliminated is public transportation. Before the virus was first announced to be in Toronto, wifey stopped taking public transportation to work. A few weeks before the lockdown measures were put into place, we stopped taking public transportation. The last time we boarded a streetcar was on February 23. As such, the last time we topped up money on our cards was in January. That was $130 in total for my card and an in-law's card. For the 4 months previous to February 23 (October 2019 to January 2020), we spent $590 topping up the cards in our household. That's on average $147.50 a month.

Another expense, now that non-essential businesses are closed, that we no longer have is eating out and take out. Sure, restaurants still do take out. However, many of them won't have your order ready for you as promised and will make you wait for them to prepare your meal. This kind of defeats the purpose of ordering out as you don't want to hang around other people inside a restaurant when you're trying to physical distance. While I normally combine the groceries and restaurant totals in the food category of our expenses, I still separate each expense in the spreadsheet I maintain. For the months of October 2019 to February 2020, we spent a total of $871.29 on food or $174.26 a month.

Another category that has gone down that isn't as obvious is our personal spending accounts. Now that wifey and I work from home, there is little to no opportunity to go out and spend money. I actually haven't spend money to purchase anything, so there's no savings to be had on my end. However, wifey's side is different. She's been spending a little bit here and there because she buys her lunch from time to time at work. She would also buy fashion clothing from her work when it comes up on "special". For the 8 weeks previous to working from home, she spent $333.06. That comes to $41.63 a week. Extrapolated to a per month basis ($41.63 / week x 52 weeks / year ÷ 12 months / year), that comes to $180.41 a month.

If you tally everything up:

  • Gas: $61.30
  • Public Transportation: $147.50
  • Restaurants/Take Out: $174.26
  • Wifey's Personal: $180.41
We get a grand total of $563.47 savings.

Which is impressive to say the least.

This total doesn't count the fancy foods (mainly cheese) we purchased from Costco pre-pandemic (we no longer visit Costco since the lines start much earlier than 6:45am).

It also doesn't count the money that will be saved on insurance since we don't drive as much. Most companies, you will need to call in and request a change to the premium. This saves anywhere from a few bucks to a decent amount. Our insurance premium is paid yearly. However, our insurance company announced they would be mailing a cheque to everyone (so we don't need to call in) for 25% of the monthly amount. Our yearly cost is $2,447. Which means our monthly is around $203.91. Assuming my math is correct, I think we're due to receive a cheque for $50.98 in May. Which is pretty nice. However, as we pay the premium once a year, it's not really part of the monthly expenses. I do average the expenses out monthly on my spreadsheet, but I'm not sure if I should count this money as part of my "savings".

Regardless, $563.47 is a decent amount saved a month due to this pandemic.


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