Surge in delta cases has people saving and shopping smart

Shoppers are on the hunt for a bargain at a Jupiter thrift store.

“You probably watch your dollar a little closer, and I know a lot of people hit hard,” said one shopper.

Financial experts say the latest COVID-19 wave and the past 18 months have people watching their spending closely.

“Oh yes every day, oh yes everyday,” said Judy Haile at Furry Friends Thrift Boutique. “Being frugal, yes.”

Haile said the pandemic has led to a boom in business.

“People are starting to rediscover thrifts,” she said.

Haile said she hears stories of people looking to buy at a fraction of the cost.

“$500 sofa maybe in a thrift would be $50,” said Haile.

Despite money saving efforts, financial advisors said the one place people tend to fail is by not creating budgets.

“There are 50 different apps that you can use to be able to pay attention to your budget, and break down what you actually spend your money on,” said Eric Cornell, the managing partner of Helius Wealth Management.

Cornell said people are making a concerted effort to save right now.

“It’s been brought to the forefront,” he said. “For the average person, you are talking about a savings rate historically of about 9 percent from 1960 until about 2021, and at this point over the last 12 months, the average savings rate is almost 19 percent, which is over a 100 percent increase from what it was.”

Cornell’s advice is to build your emergency fund first.

“Have somewhere between 3 to 6 months expenses in a rainy day,” he said.

Cornell elaborated that you should put the funds in hard to reach spots, like money markets or savings accounts.

“Something that is going to be as easily touched as a checking account,” he said.

If that’s already set up, he suggests long-term savings like Roth and IRA accounts.

“So that you can get some tax deferral on it,” he explained.

He can’t stress the importance of saving, even the smallest amount, especially during a pandemic.

“Many people can’t handle an extra $500 dollar a month expense without them getting behind in terms of overall expenses and being able to pay bills,” said Cornell.

Scripps Only Content 2021

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