A drink before the pandemic, and me in front of the fridge during the pandemic.Zoe Ettinger
I moved back to New York City in late January after living abroad for three years. I was starting a new job, and was excited to be able to see friends I hadn't connected with in years.
In the month and a half before the pandemic, a lot of my spending was going towards dinner or drinks with friends after work.
Now that we've been in lockdown for nearly two months, it's become clear just how much my spending has changed. Though some things have stayed the same, like my rent payment, my other payments are totally different. In terms of my income, I was lucky enough to keep my job so that has also stayed consistent.
Take a look at how my normal spending from a week before I started working from home compares to a week in lockdown.
Here's a breakdown of a normal week of spending and a week of spending since staying at home. As noted above, my rent and apartment utility bills have remained the same.
Spending during a normal week:
Restaurant food: $45
Drinks at bars: $62
Unlimited MetroCard: $31
Total: $218 a week
Spending during the pandemic:
Online shopping: $15
Total: $81 a week
Overall, I'm saving a significant amount, about $137 a week. While my rent and bills have remained consistent, my food, travel, and leisure spending has dropped by more than 60%.
I'm hoping that saving this extra money will help me through the economic downturn.
I'm still waiting for my mask to arrive in the mail. I haven't been doing much online shopping other than that.
Now I haven't been buying any clothes, since I really don't have anywhere to wear them.
Though I've been spending a lot of time at home, I make sure to get out and walk around every day.
Now that I have nowhere to go, I have no reason to get in an Uber.
The New York City subway has an unlimited MetroCard, which allows you to pay a monthly fee to ride as many times as you want.
I have been isolating by myself, and I am more of a social drinker anyway, so I decided to cut alcohol out of my weekly budget.
Reconnecting with old friends often meant meeting them at a bar, and at bars in New York City, the drink tabs can really rack up.
At the start of the lockdown, I was enjoying spending more time cooking since I hadn't had much time before. Now, though, I'll admit it's gotten a bit tiresome.
I ate out three times that week, and that number is excluding the money I spent on alcoholic drinks.
While I've been staying inside all the time, my roommate has been staying elsewhere, so our utility bills have remained the same as before the pandemic. I also only turn on the lights when it gets dark, which now isn't until about 7:30 p.m.