9 People’s Pandemic Money Diaries

Andrew, 35, Oregon

Employment status: I work in the service industry — business dining, to be more specific. I was placed on furlough as of June 1, with our employer picking up health care premiums through the end of August, if you are on their plans. Luckily, I am on my wife’s plan which not only is better than any provided by my company, it’s cheaper. We don’t have a return date — I’m hoping it won’t be more than 90 days but I have a bad feeling it will be much longer.
Annual income before the pandemic: $80,000 base + 8–10% bonus
Current income: TBD
Monthly housing costs: $3,000 for mortgage, taxes, and stupid fucking interest
Debt: $26,000 student loans, $3,500 credit card debt, $445,000 mortgage
Groceries (monthly): A fuck ton now! Normally I get free coffee and food at work (all day!). With both me and my wife working from home and eating all meals here, we have doubled our food spending.
Utilities: $400 to $500. Depends on how much we spend on running the A/C.
Entertainment (Netflix/Spotify): Netflix, Starz (awful! Tried to cancel and roped me in to staying for .99/month, which was clever and clearly I’m not the only one), Comcast is the worst and spend $250/month, cellphones are $175/month vs. $235 2 months ago, Xbox Live $50/year, other streaming services ~$10/month.

Are you spending more or less right now? Less right now. Saving on gas, car insurance (not much, assholes), reduced cellphone data plans, etc., all in all we are saving money ’cause we aren’t spending hundreds at Target on useless bullshit 😃 My wife’s job is strong and her company is posting record sales recently even though retail stores are closed and shifting their business model to more dot-com.

Biggest financial concern right now: My wife and I have worked very hard to reduce debt, increase savings and be fiscally responsible. We have $20,000+ in savings, I have 145 hours of vacation / PTO, my wife will be getting her bonus in August. I’m hoping this pandemic doesn’t eat into it but that is a small sacrifice to pay given the current climate. I am waiting anxiously to hear if benefits will be extended past the end of July — the restaurant industry is completely screwed. Every week we see another well-known restaurant, restaurant group or high-profile chef say they are permanently closing their business. What are all of these industry workers going to do?

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