Family of Four Taking Flight to Financial Independence

How To Adopt Positive FI Habits During The Global Pandemic

Walking in Hermann Park’s McGovern Gardens

It’s hard to believe this (global pandemic) has been going on for close to 6 months now.  It’s even harder to believe that some areas / states are still getting worse (well some of it is not surprising ...but disappointing nonetheless).  One of the things that I like to do when things get tough is figure out ways to find positives in negative situations, and the pandemic is no different.  (We are definitely in no way trying to minimize the death and illness related to COVID-19, but we are sharing some ways to find positives).  

Let’s go over some ways to use this time to adopt some new habits which in turn can help a person reach their financial goals even faster!  Not to mention if you are a person / family that is / are currently out of work, these tips can be the difference between making ends meet or not.

Eat Out Less / Cook At Home More

We have always chosen to cook at home in order to save money and to eat healthier so this hasn’t been a huge change for us, but for those who are used to eating out more often, now is the time to change those habits.  Cook more at home, and your waist line along with your bank account will thank you.  Let’s look at an example. 

Lets say Family A used to spend $300 per month going out to eat Pre-Pandemic. Fast forward to today, and Family A has used the quarantine to cook more at home.  They still choose to do take out a couple of times a month to help support local businesses, but they are now down to spending only $50 per month.  What positives have come out of this change? They have managed to save $250 per month.  They have more than likely become healthier, and they are doing their part to slow the pandemic by choosing to stay home rather than go out to eat.  

Get Outside and Exercise

Adopt a family activity that gets you outdoors and moving!  One of the things that I have really enjoyed during this time are daily walks / bike rides with my kids.  We’ve had access to some great walking trails and taken advantage of them.  In fact, my daughter learned to ride without training wheels during this time.  If you’re a person who has used this time to get out and walk / run / ride then you have developed a great habit that can also help you towards FI (financial independence).  

Let’s assume Family A has 2 parents and 2 kids.  Before the pandemic they were a 2 car family.  However, they adopted a daily family activity of riding bikes during the pandemic.  They now realized they can get rid of one of their cars because one of (or both of) the adults have gotten so much joy from their daily rides.  One parent has figured out a way to commute to work on their bike (I actually commuted for several years via a bike to the park and ride bus!).  Let’s assume this eliminates a $300 car payment, $50 insurance, and $100 in gas.  Now $450 per month total can now be saved.  And these are just the immediate financial savings.  Chances are very high that this person will gain great healthy habits from bike riding and will have to spend less on medications / medical issues in the future.  Way to go!

Cut The Cord: Consolidate Streaming Services

Cut the cord, and consolidate streaming services!  What is your current TV situation?  Are you paying for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+Hulu, Slingand Cable TV?  Do you even know??  Don’t get me wrong ... streaming services are great (we currently have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ only)!  They provide unlimited amounts of home entertainment (and offer some opportunities for City Schooling) but having multiple streaming services and cable is overkill.  Use this time to consolidate to 1 or 2 streaming services and for crying out loud cut the cable cord if you haven’t already!  I promise your local library can provide you with the shows / movies that you think you will be missing (we definitely find lots of great ones through our local library).

Back to Family A.  Before the pandemic, their lives were on autopilot.  They had cable TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, etc ... their monthly TV bill was $150 for all of these services.  When the pandemic hit, money got tighter, and they decided to cut the cable cord and dump Amazon Prime (we are considering cutting out Amazon Prime).  They also got a library card and started checking out TV shows and movies for free.  Now their TV bill is about $21 per month which covers Netflix and Disney+.  They have a savings of about $130 per month!

Now let’s add it all up.  $250 savings from cooking at home + $450 savings from going to one car + $130 savings from consolidating streaming services and cutting cable = $830 per month of savings.

$250 Savings (Cooking More At Home)

$450 Savings (One Car)

$130 Savings (Consolidating Streaming / Cutting Cable)

= $830 Savings / Month

= $830 Savings / Month x 12 Months ... = $9,960 Savings Per Year

Now lets assume that Family A decides to invest this money into VTSAX.  Here is what they could expect to have after 10 years ($147,244.65 Total).


Ok, that’s not too shabby.  Family A has gained new found health, flexibility, and wealth by making these three positive changes in their lives during a very difficult time.  There is literally no downside to make changes similar to this.  Take some time to think of changes that you can make in your family’s life, and go for it.

What positives have you found during this difficult time?  Any positive impacts to your finances or journey to financial independence?  Or maybe ... what hardships have you encountered?  How can you work to overcome those?

Read Tara’s latest post on City Schooling Art Adventures here.  And want to join us on your own journey to FI?  I offer Financial Consulting ... read more here.




  1. We are mostly stuck inside, so I've found this is a great time to go through my stuff and sell on eBay or other online sale sites. You can even order boxes delivered from the post office and schedule package pickup. Also we get curbside pickup or delivery of our groceries. Curbside is much less expensive than delivery services, so we have found that is the way to go. Even when there is a small fee, we end up saving money - no impulse purchases,and we shop for a week or more at a time and plan meals a least a week in advance. This kind of planning saves us money by making the most of leftovers and making sure we use things up before they go bad.

  2. Rita,

    Thanks for reading and commenting! Wow, I didn’t realize you could get boxes delivered / package pick up. New service with COVID-19 or ?? Great point about Curbside and impulse purchases. I didn’t think about that! I know some places already had Curbside available, but it’s great how companies quickly adapted to COVID-19 and their consumers (or if they didn’t, they may be left behind). Sometimes it is the little things that help ... like eliminating impulse buys at the grocery store.

    -Tara of Four Take Flight

  3. I am using the free time to finish the house I started building on 2015. Details like loose tiles, I replaced a broken window, painted a room. It is a great time to do home improvement projects. I have also been excising a lot lately
    Mr G.