Much like the sailor who has been alone at sea, you are emerging from a long period of limitation, and the transition back to normal may be more difficult than you would think. This week, I am sharing some thoughts on how to emerge successfully from the pandemic as many vaccinations are being administered and restrictions will be lifted. I’ve included some ideas not just on spending but also on how to make a successful transition in general.
In writing this, I researched tips for how military service members can successfully return from deployment. While we haven’t endured the horrors of war, there are some parallels as we all look forward to returning to normal after a period of difficult times. Here are a few things to consider:
Some Stress and Anxiety May Be Normal – We are not just going to “flip the switch” and get back to our normal lives. Having a focus on mental health will be important. For example, it’s not uncommon for people to feel uneasy these days when they see people on TV getting too close to each other. Undoing that protective reaction to normal close personal contact is going to take some time.
Be Mindful of Your Spending – Many people will emerge from the pandemic with the mindset that they haven’t spent as much money, and can go wild because they deserve it. Reduced spending may be true in some cases, be sure to take a look at your numbers to ensure you actually did spend less in 2020. We find that’s not always the case. Additionally, some people will conclude this experience has been life-changing, and they should “seize the day.” If this is the case with you, be sure to check in with me first so we can figure out how much “carpe diem” you can afford.
Consider Spending Now Instead of Waiting – This is true for two reasons:
Be Prepared for Disappointment – Just like many other things in this pandemic, the return to normal will probably be messy. Be sure to set reasonable expectations as it’s possible there may be some not-so-good surprises along the way.
Be Mindful of Things You Will Actually Miss from This – I’m not sure about you, but I have a long list of things I learned from this experience and enjoyed. While our kids were stuck at home from school, Lindsay and I were able to have lunch with them almost every day. I will always be grateful for that time we had together. Be sure to make a list of great memories as well as things you would like to continue long after we return to normal. Do this while it’s fresh in your mind.
Any opinions are those of Wheeler Financial LLC and not necessarily those of Raymond James.