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From In-Person to Online: The Pandemic Hasn’t Changed the Way This Millennial Navigates the Digital World

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Wellspent

How has the pandemic changed you? We asked our Wellspent community to share some stories about their spending habits, adjustments to their financials, and mindset in the past few months.

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Yoana, 25, Toronto, Ontario

How has your spending changed in the past few months?

I am a master's student in Amsterdam, so I'm primarily living off of the income I made in the years between undergrad and now. I have always kept a budget with my spending (since I don’t make an income) so I rarely splurge on purchases.

Perhaps it's a lot of stress-buying, but I started doing a lot more unnecessary online shopping. Some websites I frequent are having their spring/summer sales, so I'm buying a lot of clothing for the season. In retrospect, I feel like I may not even have the chance to wear them this year.

I don't usually eat out, enjoy cheap entertainment or simply the company of my friends, and consume content and entertainment digitally. So my usual spending overall hasn't changed, but I've started buying different ingredients for new recipes I've wanted to try but never had time for.

I guess, overall, my spending has actually increased...because of all the online shopping.

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What surprised you most about your spending pre-pandemic vs. now?

I used to spend more time in-store to try on clothes before I bought it. Now I'm doing a lot more online shopping. I guess I have a better idea of my sizing than I thought?

I'm actually surprised that my usual spending really hasn't changed pre and post COVID-19. If anything, I do a bit more unnecessary spending, but I think it's therapeutic and I'm lucky that I can still afford to do so. 

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What are you hoping to purchase when this pandemic is over?

I want to dye my hair blonde! I'm a brunette and dabbled with blonde a while ago, by getting my best friend to help me. The colour was okay (although very yellow) and my hair wasn't damaged, but I only kept it for a month before I went back to brunette due to my roots showing. I want to do it for real now and hopefully, convince my friend to join me!

Tell us about your most Wellspent day during the past month. This could be related to time Wellspent, a purchase Wellspent or anything really that brought you joy.

I enjoy biking, and with the nicer weather now, I went out for a bike ride and it felt nice to feel the wind in my (very knotted) hair and the smell of the outdoors. I haven’t ridden my bike in months since the pandemic hit, I used to ride it to campus every day. I even went out during extra hot days because I just wanted to get out of the house more! It’s sometimes nice to disconnect from constantly being online. 

What new thing did you learn/are you learning during the past few months?

School is still in session online, so many things haven't changed for me—mostly just finishing up my thesis. But I've taken up baking, just like so many of us seem to be doing—even though there seems to be a flour shortage in grocery stores. I watch a lot of YouTube videos to learn recipes!

Has the pandemic led to any money conversations with your friends, family or partner?

The people close to me have all been fortunate to not have lost jobs during the pandemic. I’ve always kept in contact with my friends back home through social media (being in another country and all) and money and jobs were always a common topic of conversation as we chatted. I’m probably the only one who has somehow increased my spending, being previously more disciplined with my budgeting.

When my thesis is complete, I'm looking forward to going back to Toronto to see my friends, as my graduation has been delayed.

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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.