Do you have anxiety Spending in the Crisis?

Has your drive to buy non-essential (not groceries or meds or household items) things increased during the uncertainty and crisis? Has it actually turned into spending or have you held back because you’re trying to save as much cash as possible/have enough to hand to pay bills if your income is reduced/gone?

If you have been wanting to buy things has it been:

  • things you needed but had been putting off, but now buying feels easy because everything is on fire (a proper bra, headphones that work)
  • things you previously didn’t need but now need due to quarantine life? (hand weights when the gym is closed, bicycle to get exercise outside, face masks and hand sanitizer)
  • things that increase your comfort at home in quarantine (take-out, stretchy work from home pants, instant pot, lumbar pillow, noise cancelling headphones)
  • comfort items? (scented candles, nice face masks, etc)
  • things that you have absolutely no need for right now but are representative of a better time (that pink jumpsuit, fun earrings, fancy shoes you can’t even wear because you’re never leaving the house)

If you are buying or just thinking about it tell me about your thoughts…

Are you justifying more purchases right now to help businesses stay afloat? Are you engaging in more charitable giving? Are you trying to buy things that don’t need to be shipped so that there’s less delivery workers out? Are you just internet shopping/scrolling as escapism?

… Or are you terrified and spending nothing because your income has been cut/is imminent danger of getting cut?

(all reactions are valid, btw, I’m just curious how people are handling it)


I’m definitely buying to help small businesses stay afloat. I’ve tried to buy things I actually need (lotion for H’s cracked hands, gift card for hair cuts, yarn to finish my sweater) but I also feel pulled to get takeout from our favorite small restaurants and things like that. We’ve bought a few comfort items that we wouldn’t have bought normally, but it’s been things like extra baking ingredients so that we have cookies and stuff.

Now that we’re relatively certain H will still get paid I feel even more like we should be spending money with small businesses, but I’m torn because normally I am really strict on nonessential spending and I don’t wanna go overboard. But if all of my clients pay me this month I do think I will spend a little extra at some small businesses simply because our income hasn’t changed when so many people have lost theirs and it feels like a way I can help.


My income is not in immediate danger of being cut to very low levels, and I am spending more right now, justifying it because I currently have the means to do so, though I am still a stock-piler of cash.

my grocery spending has increased and I don’t even care. You just have to buy what you can find right now, and it’s not the most frugal stuff (no bulk bins/etc)

my charitable donations have increased across the board.

I also have increased my subscriptions/memberships to news sites since they are so important right now.

I’ve justified things like renting streaming movies and such I never would’ve done before because everything is on fire any way and at least I can share this.

I have been SCROLLING as escapism, but not buying. But it turns out looking at/worrying about silly costumes is WAY preferable to the news these days.

I have been considering more work out at home gear, but haven’t gotten it yet. One very expensive thing I’ve contemplated is getting figure-skating-roller-blades.

I almost never spend money eating out (I average like $10 a month) but I’ve been prioritizing some delivery once a week which is huge for me, and tipping 30-50% on take out for the workers, because I want to support the small businesses and the workers and keep them around.


I am spending a bit more/more often than usual to try to support local businesses I would like to stay afloat.

I ordered a big lot of seeds last week from Adaptive Seeds.

I bought a gardening guide from our local gardening non-profit (

I bought DD some test prep books from a local independent book store.

We haven’t ordered food yet, as we have a stuffed fridge and pantry, but will probably start getting takeout/delivery from some favorite restaurants we don’t want to shut down.

Trying to avoid buying ANYTHING from Amazon at the moment because they are shafting their small business partners by refusing to restock the fullfilled by Amazon warehouses.

We may well buy a second car in the coming weeks/months.

We are FIREd and have a cash stash of about 8-10 years comfortable spending, so I am not worried about our financial situation. I’m not going to shift to being a total consumer spendypants, but now is a good time to keep some money going back into the local economy so I’m doing that where it makes sense.


As a small business partner on FBA, I get why they are doing this. They’re prioritizing the warehouse shelves just for essential goods and they’re trying to minimize shifts for warehouse stockers And I want to keep the warehouse workers safe, and make sure we have enough shelf space for hand sanitizer and masks and food.

Anyway, I have many quarrels with Amazon, but I think they are making the right call here.

(And from a business perspective, you should have more than one distributor or you’re not really ever in control).


I am spending way more at a time on food because the stores here have been decimated. I normally buy only enough for maybe a week.

I was limiting my charitable giving before because my focus was saving for our move and for buying a car, but now that’s out the window, I want to throw money at every local business’s employee relief fund that I see (or, well, at least the ones I patronize). I’ve donated to 4 of them so far plus the cat shelter that our cats came from. My gym’s instructors are not getting paid so I’ve been taking their online classes and tossing some cash their way as they’ve been offering these classes as donation-based pay what you can.

I bought a heat mat because I’m worried that I won’t be able to buy seedlings at stores this spring and my seed starting failed last year, I think from being in a cold but catproof basement. (It’s working really well so far! Stuff is sprouting faster.)

Every book I had on hold at the library is a physical book and not an e-book, so now that the libraries are closed, I will not get them. I’m going to buy at least one of them as an e-book - before I was buying everything Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant put out but I’ve not bought anything of hers in probably a year and a half, forcing myself to wait until it was my turn at the library for them.

ETA: One of the online fitness classes requires Spotify Premium so we can hear the music; for some reason the sound via Zoom is awful and glitchy. So I am paying for that now too.


I’m trying to hunker down and stay away from everything and avoid too much spending, but I’m also trying to stay somewhat prepared with food and such, I want to Spring Clean my house, my college went remote with a week to transition, and I’m expecting a baby in May.

What this has meant is spending days working on transitioning and now teaching my classes, spending nights cleaning and organizing, especially in the baby’s room, and spending extra money on consumables to make a small stockpile…while grabbing cleaning/organizing/baby’s room things since I’m out.

So I overspent a little on the grocery/household/cat budget, but can now probably get through the next couple weeks without going again. But I way overspent on the discretionary budget so that I can feel like I’m making progress on having my home ready for the baby if the situation becomes such that I can’t go out for a while. My state is just now getting into “stay at home” territory, so further store trips will have to wait until something starts running out and be limited to truly essential things like food and cat stuff.

I’m not in danger of losing my income for the next few months, but that could look different in the fall if we can’t go back to face-to-face teaching by then.

I’m not buying online right now because I usually don’t anyway, but eventually I’ll put in an order off my registry if non-essential package delivery is still happening.

I’m definitely debating what to do with retirement contributions over the next few months.


I was initially spending a lot more on purchases that support small businesses and artists.

Now I’m scared of spending anything I don’t need to because my workplace is being awesome and proactive and put everyone on a very limited rotating schedule so we don’t all get sick at the same time.


I’m buying gift cards for local businesses to help them survive the crisis.

I also bought a tv and several video games and a plague doctor costume for my kids. And a book for me. And a lot of extra snacks.


No anxiety spending so far, aside from food stockpiling. I cut some subscriptions, and I’m obviously spending less on social activities like dancing and other meetups. I wish I could justify my full-price WaPo subscription, but I have no income and very little cash on hand. I’m going to pick it back up if/when I get a job.

Food, though. I used to get almost all my core food for free, but those sources are shut down. I’m spending more on groceries than even my no-free-food normal since I can’t prioritize sales and want to avoid the bigger, crowded stores. Spending more than usual on take-out, but that might taper off soon.

I plan on buying something from Powell’s so they don’t go out of business. I’ve also contemplated buying home gym equipment, depending on how long this goes and how strict stay at home rules become.


Yea, I’m keeping my contributions on autopilot (which is pretty low, about 5% of my currently enormous $4,000 per month income), rather than pushing a ton of money in while the market is down, simply because Cash is King right now. I can’t pay my rent with a higher retirement savings rate, even if it might be a fiscally prudent call.

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Does your library have Proquest? If so you should be able to access WaPo on line with your library card.

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Thanks! I’m actually not worried about accessing the content. I view it more as a donation to support their investigative journalism. Originally subscribed during the 2016 election.


My spending has dropped for sure! Other than stocking up on food and hygiene things I’m not shopping at all. Online clothes shopping is out because I don’t want my husband to have to go to the Post office for returns. Without restaurants and climbing gym costs my spending has naturally decreased.


I’ve overspent on food, but that’s about it so far. Payday is the 25th, and I have a $30 off $50 code for an online sex toy vendor (of reliable, safe brands), and a $20 off $40 for new underthings that I’m planning on taking advantage of.

I’ve been looking for a new headset for work and social calls, the one from work hurts my ears.

I’m also looking for a yoga mat and some other active-at-home options.


Last week we weren’t sure if mr krmit was going to get laid off, so we spent basically nothing. This week it seems like he’s safe.

Some of the local businesses/restaurants I’d like to support are already closed and I don’t see a way to buy gift cards on their circa-2003 websites.

There are one or two that are open that we will probably order takeout from at some point. I am actually considering using Doordash or Grubhub, which were on my “never give money to” list before.

I also ordered a local produce box that comes today. That was an easy call-we are low on veggies and don’t want to break quarantine.

As far as non-food purchases, I’m not really tempted at all. But grocery shopping has always been my category for impulse buys, so maybe in two weeks I could see myself fancy flours or ordering $9 local ice cream deliveries.


Food spending is up a bit because of not being able to get store brands/go to multiple stores. A little stocking up, but nothing that won’t lower food bills later on.

Other than that? Not spending much of anything on anything that won’t save more than it costs (seeds, arrows in case we really do have a zombie apocalypse here and need venison). I need more canning jars…

But trying to hang on to cash. Contimplating reducing some retirement or HSA contributions. Haven’t yet because we can’t affect anything before the end of May check, so there’s time.

I’m a little terrified our university system will decide to close my college. As long as that doesn’t happen, we’ll be fine.


One reason I love your perspective is that I know this isn’t actually a joke, very different from my urban existence.


Our grocery spending is about usual. We’ve actually spent less on snacks! and eaten fewer snacks too. Apparently we eat healthier under shelter orders??? We’re cooking much more creatively than usual, because we don’t want to waste anything, and that’s been pretty fun. I’m definitely feeling a bit like a Depression-era housewife – I found a packet of dry milk powder (leftover from buying a box for making homemade hot cocoa) and was like YES GOOD WE HAVE SHELF-MILK. I’m not usually excited about shelf-milk.

Restaurant spending is way down. We’re planning to get some delivery later this week from one of our favorite local places, but that’ll be the first time in two weeks that we’ve paid for food that someone else made. I’ve contacted a few local cafes to see if I can get a gift certificate for use later; TBD on those, I think, the poor cafes are all reeling.

I’ve stocked up a little bit on e.g. face lotions – stuff I don’t want to run out of if I can avoid it but which can only be got at e.g. CVS. We’re planning to do almost all our grocery shopping at our tiny local shop next door which doesn’t have things like lotion, so glad that’s done and I’ve got enough lotion to hold out until the fall! (Don’t worry, I didn’t clear out CVS. ;))

Charitable donations are holding steady – no increase or decrease, just doing their usual monthly thing.

I bought some Tunisian crochet hooks and a book on spinning because if we’re stuck in the apocalypse I’m at least going to learn some fun new skills, and I have a good yarn stash and a spindle I need to learn how to use. I also will probably be ordering some stuff from our local garden supply soon, as I think I’ll be spending a lot more time outside in the garden in the next few months.

I am not suuuper worried about my job – at least not immediately – but I am worried about what will happen in 3-6 months. If the courts shut down, we lose at least half our work. And Wizard’s currently unemployed because of the strike. My e-fund lasts 5-7 months, and Wizard has like 2-3 years of his salary in cah, so he’s very set and I’m in a good position overall. Still, the IBL yells. I’m not changing anything re: auto-deductions for my 401k or IRA, but I might make some adjustments to my “pay off student loans/max the IRA plans” (especially since I am supposed to have medical bills upcoming and have new therapy bills, too).

ETA: Confirmed our company is doing salary cuts; mine is 10%. Adjustments definitely incoming.


The arrows arrive Friday… :slight_smile: