Social distancing Memorial Day saves money

How a pandemic-affected weekend may benefit your bank account

May 22, 2020 | Current events
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It's a not your average Memorial Day

With every state still under some form of restriction, the landscape of the three-day weekend that marks the unofficial start of summer for many has changed, but a less social Memorial Day may also present an opportunity to save money in a few key areas.

Less time at the pump

According to Bank of America's 2018 data, the average American spent $48 on gas over Memorial Day weekend, but those figures will likely be lower this year with both an 85% decrease in travel spending and a decline in gas prices for those who do hit the road.

Theme parks go dark

For most American families, somewhere between $60 (aquariums) and $89 (carnivals and amusement parks) was spent visiting public attractions. With the exception of a few states allowing certain exhibits like zoos to reopen, most of these attractions, even in quickly reopening states, are closed, leaving the money in our wallets.

Smaller BBQs = less $$$

While it's still totally possible to enjoy a private or socially-distanced backyard BBQ, a smaller event could mean major savings off the usual $89 spent solely on groceries for the holiday weekend. That said, average spending on groceries has increased during the pandemic, up that $155 total accounts for an entire week's worth of supplies.

Stay-at-home savings

All told, those with spending habits in line with the average American could save anywhere from $100-$150 by staying at home; savings that could be spent on another week's groceries, building up an emergency fund, or even towards a twice-as-nice Memorial Day vacation in 2021.