We are creatures of habits, for good or bad. Some become automatic, some become mandatory, some are unconscious or conscious. Some experts say it takes around 21 – 30 days to form or unlearn a habit. Habits need support, reminders and repetition to become permanent.

Our stay-at-home has been over 60 days in some areas. It has been thrust upon us. It was an unsettling and unnerving time. We had to deal with tending to everyone’s needs all the time. Very few places to go for support or comaraderie. We went to drug stores and grocery stores, got what was needed and went home. Those were strategic personal survival activities not for human social interactions.

What were the little annoyances of the people who shared your home for months, that drove you crazy? Did you discuss these pet peeves? Were they good or bad habits that became noticeable only under quarantine? Were you open minded to change these idiosyncrasies and develop new habits.

One very practical and common topic that is an area of contention is finances. It could be how to control household expenses, division of areas of responsibilities (include children), or allowances. It’s a good idea for everyone to get involved. More gets done, more efficiently when there is input from those involved. Use simple methods of tracking, like spreadsheets or software packages, to record what comes in and what goes out. Until put down in writing you are only guessing and guessing does not solve issues. It is a real eye opener when you see your numbers. You should always know your numbers. Now, you’re ready to make meaningful decisions, make necessary adjustments, and achieve your goals.

We all have mastered the art of washing our hands often and for 20 seconds each time. Hopefully, it has become a long-term habit. What are some habits that you have made during this time. Stopped smoking? Ate healthier? Exercised more? Became more patient? Took up a hobby? Read more to children? These are great habits created under trying times.. But, what about going forward? Reopening the economy will be a challenge to keep these new habits. There will be temptations, both through peer pressure and anxiety to post-quarantine era situations, to revert to the old habits.. Be mindful of these triggers. Contact me with changes you have made during these past months at www.FrugalBrenda.com. Be strong and healthy.

Brenda Hendrickson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), an award-winning businesswoman, author, with strong accounting and tax background can design a plan to go from spendthrift to control over your money.

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