- Lewis Weil
Budgeting for Post-pandemic Extravagance
Your budget might be the last thing on your mind right now. We've been in lockdown for over a year. Now we're vaxed and ready to catch up on life. Maybe we even have some extra money in our pockets from eating at home and not going anywhere.
It’s time for the ‘F**k It’ budget. Honestly, your budget is not the most important thing right now. Processing the trauma, the transition, and getting some much deserved joy is more important. Let’s take a month or two and get it out of our system. You can cheat on your budget as long as you do it with some boundaries.
List out all the things you want to get or do. Put a price tag on them. Once you see them all laid out, see which ones are most important to you. Make a budget that is just for these planned extravagances. ‘F**k It’ becomes dangerous when you reach for the credit card and decide you’ll deal with the damage later. Do yourself a favor and be purposeful. Price out the flights, the lodging, and then give yourself a budget for while you are on your trip. How much per day will you spend? It's way better to plan a $4,000 trip than to accidentally have a $9,000 one. Get the financial anxiety out of the way first and you will enjoy yourself more and leave your finances better off.
One more thing, but this isn’t really financial advice. Before you just go on the trips you had planned pre-covid make sure you still want to do them. Don’t assume you have the same desires you had a year ago. Maybe you’ve been stuck in your apartment with your partner. Maybe do something other than a backpacking trip and sharing a tiny tent, just because you wanted to do it pre-quarantine doesn’t mean you still want it or have to do it. You can’t really get the time back but you can figure out what you need now. And you can budget for it in a way that won’t hurt your future finances too much.
Go ahead and get it out of your system, but then it's time to come back to whatever normal is now.