My pre-pandemic self was all about material things. If I was spending money, I should be getting something tangible for it… and boy, did I love buying expensive designer items. Aside from the fact that they were nice to have and I could very well afford them, we have to admit owning and using such things gives one a self-esteem boost. Of course there’s also the bragging rights associated with such luxuries.
But 2020 came and the world was locked down. Honestly, I never thought I’d bear witness to a real pandemic where people I knew were dying left and right. Here in the Philippines, we were pretty much quarantined for the entire 2020. Suddenly, life was reduced to just eating and sleeping. All the material things I had accumulated over the years were just… clutter. Then I realized the importance of experiences because I couldn’t really go anywhere anymore. Experiences like a good meal, a breathtaking view, live performances… these were things I would gloss over in favor of material things I could have and hold before the pandemic.
Throughout 2021 and 2022, life slowly evolved until it got to a point where we had some semblance of the life we led before 2020. But it would never really be the same again. We had all become more tech-savvy. Doing things like banking, holding meetings, making presentations, shopping, and so forth all became doable online. Inflation and recession hit us all in one blow so everyone had also become a lot more budget-conscious. Old habits died and new habits were formed.
I used to just dump all my money in a savings account with a next-to-nothing interest rate. Online banking has taught me to explore other options. Digital banks are now offering way better interest rates compared to their brick and mortar counterparts. I suck at math and so I am very appreciative of online tools and calculators such as this Savings Calculator at calculator.me. Just fill in the blanks and you’re good to go. Using calculators like this one helps me make better financial decisions where saving and placing my money is concerned. Apart from digital time deposits, I’ve also started exploring Treasury Bills and other types of placements. It’s so much more convenient to have everything online and at your fingertips as compared to physically visiting the bank. Calculator.me also has calculators for loan amortizations, mortgage, credit cards, family budgets, and more.
My post-pandemic self puts more of a premium on experiences. I don’t mind paying for gourmet meals, front row concert tickets, and tourist-y things these days. I used to think I’d rather spend my money on some expensive luxury item I can take home. But all the pandemic deaths had me thinking it’s pointless collecting clutter since we can’t take any of them with us when we pass on. I do however believe that we all need to be smarter about money. We never know when we could get sick, lose our jobs, or go into lockdown… it’s always good to have funds saved up for a rainy day.
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