We are now lockdown veterans. We quickly learnt to survive a new situation and most people made the best of it—that is the human spirit, we are determined to live, despite saying otherwise. There are six lessons from the way the pandemic has affected our health, income, wealth and prospects that I want to share. I must admit that in all the years of writing about, planning for and going through rough events, this is something that I never took into my own calculations. So while the big broad rules remain firmly in place, there are finer nuances and learnings. Here are the six things I learnt while still a quarter of the way through this pandemic.
One, it costs very little to live. When the first full cycle credit card bill came, it was a fraction of earlier bills and I am not a spendthrift. But travel and work seem to add to the bills. Petrol costs were down to zero, bills around eating out, clothes and entertainment were all zero. When just the basics are being bought, I found that the month costs very little. Of course, you need to be debt-free for that to happen. Our saving capacity is much higher than we thought. This is especially true for people who had earlier thought that they had no capacity to save. The rising bank FDs tell their own story as more and more people salted away their savings into FDs over the past two months. Once we are out of this, remember that the lockdown mode is there to target a higher saving rate whenever you desire.