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- If these were typical times, I’d be spending some money on entertainment, vacation plans, consumer goods, and more.
- But since we’ve been practicing social distancing during the pandemic, my expenses are lower. So I’ve been putting extra money into the market.
- I’m playing the long game with my investments — and adding to the foundation for my future.
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If this were a normal spring, I’d be plotting out my next rooftop dinner. Planning my next vacation. Or buying clothes for the summer season.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult in many ways. We’ve had to adapt to a new way of life and adjust to not seeing loved ones, and many people have lost their incomes. But staying home has given me the chance to spend less and work on some financial and personal goals.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve never been an irresponsible spender. In fact, I’ve written about how much I like to save, and lessons I’ve learned from suddenly losing my income. Because it’s important to me to share info that could help other people.
But as health and economic headlines remain dire, I know nothing is promised. So I’m using this time, in part, to invest in myself, work on my business, and build more savings and investments to fall back on if needed.
I realize not everyone can operate like this right now. Some people are literally fighting for their lives and facing mounting bills due to unemployment, or worse. So I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue working and saving, and I’m sharing my investing strategy in case you find yourself with a similar surplus. And I’m remaining hopeful for us all as we move ahead.
I’m buying new stocks instead of splurging on stuff
I’m no stranger to shopping or nights out and about. But since I’m at home with, basically, nowhere to go, I don’t need to radically expand my closet or pay for entertainment.
Instead, I’ve been shopping for new equities. Now, I get timely notices of successful trades rather than the usual sales receipts. While some things can be a bit up and down in this market, I hope my new shares will eventually grow in value.
I’m increasing holdings of old favorites
In the past, there were some equities I wanted to purchase but thought I couldn’t afford. Or at least, not in the quantities I wanted. But with some prices lower this spring, and because I haven’t been spending on my typical activities, I’ve been able to scoop up more shares than usual.
I’ve even sacrificed having some money in my (pretty healthy) savings account so I can take advantage of buying opportunities. And since I invest for the long term, it’s nice to get some lower prices as I continue to buy.
I’m investing little by little
Instead of spending $50 on drinks here, or $70 on dinner there (you guys, city life can be expensive), I’m buying stocks and index funds. I’m making these trades, in part, because I know it’s possible to grow my accounts over time, even with smaller amounts.
I think this fact is important to remember in any market. With this knowledge, I don’t feel the need to make big buys all at once. And since I can now buy stocks online without fees, and trades have always been free for my index funds, I sometimes buy a few shares in a day. And then buy a few more the next week, continuing to invest over time.
For instance, in April 2020, I bought about $2,000 worth of index funds in three transactions. I also bought about $100 of one stock and about $290 of another. Because I’d reached some savings goals, and had lower expenses (and no travel plans), I decided to invest.
Overall, I don’t know how long this period of economic contraction will last. But I’m positioning myself as strongly as I can. I hope I’ll be able to see my loved ones soon and that we’ll be okay. And that, with time, my financial cushion will be more padded, too.