Here's how your spending might increase once things improve on the coronavirus front.
It's fair to say that we all can't wait for the coronavirus pandemic to end and for life to get back to normal -- or the closest version of it possible. But while seeing the pandemic become a thing of the past is a good thing, once it's behind us, some of our living costs could quickly climb. Here are a few expenses that could rise once the pandemic is over.
Right now, a lot of people are working from home full time -- and saving hundreds or thousands of dollars on commuting costs in the process. Imagine you normally spend $100 a month on a public transit pass, but you haven't had that expense for the past year. Well, you'd better find a way to incorporate it back into your budget or you'll risk falling short. Of course, some companies may allow employees to continue working remotely once the pandemic wraps up. On the other hand, a lot of people want to return to in-person work because they find remote work isolating. If you're one of them, get ready to start paying to get to and from your office.
A lot of people cut back on travel during the pandemic due to safety concerns, and those who have been traveling have gotten some pretty amazing deals. But once the pandemic is over and traveling no longer poses the same health hazard, we can expect an increase in prices for hotels and airfare -- and that could drive a lot of people to rack up debt for their vacations. If you'd like to travel more once the pandemic is over, be sure to start socking away funds in your savings account. And also, look at getting a travel rewards credit card with perks that make your trips more affordable.
3. Restaurant meals
During the pandemic, many people have switched from dining at restaurants to doing takeout and delivery. But dining in person is generally more expensive, because when you're at a restaurant, you may be more likely to order higher-end entrees or purchase alcohol, which can drive up your tab. What's more, some eateries may try to recoup some of their pandemic-related losses by hiking up their prices in an effort to stay afloat. That's not necessarily an unreasonable thing to do given the hit restaurants have taken this past year. But it's something you, as a consumer, should prepare for.
Don't get caught off guard
Seeing the pandemic come to an end would be a wonderful thing worth celebrating. But that change could also cause certain expenses to climb. Prepare now so you're not left scrambling (or, worse yet, pushed into debt) when your bills tick upward. It's also a good idea to start thinking about ways to lower costs that have the potential to increase -- whether it's carpooling to work, booking flights at off-peak times, or searching for restaurant deals, like nights with two-for-one entrees. The pandemic has taught a lot of people how to live more frugally out of necessity, and if you apply those lessons to a post-coronavirus world, they'll likely serve you well.
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