Giving Meaning to “Essential” or “Non-Essential”

Many Americans, some having lost their jobs recently, are taking a hard look at their budget and bills right now asking what we’ve all been asking ourselves- what really is essential or not? We’ve compiled a list of items that we have been saving tons of money on since the quarantining began, and we’re kind of pleased with some of the changes. We look forward to hearing your thoughts too. Let’s begin!


Average Savings: $100/month

High end Gym + Commute Time: $110+/month


Online Subscription $20-30/month

As if the rise of online workouts wasn’t already becoming a popular option, it’s rise now is inevitable and forceful. Purebarre, YogaGlo, DailyBurn, even your favorite Youtube celebrity? Whatever is your cup of tea, there’s an app or a website workout for you to follow along at home.

Eating Out

Average Savings: $400+/month

$1,200.00 – Eating out 1-2x/week (~$400 at least) + Groceries ($200/week; $800)/month


$800.00 Cooking Meals at Home $200/week on groceries

Eating out makes up a healthy portion of the budget, no pun intended. Due to more cooking at home and at-home baking, dough-making and youtube classes, those costs have been cut down. Check out Bon Appetit’s Youtube channel or your favorite celebrity chef, as many have adapted to the times and are sharing noteworthy cooking tips to carry us through this pandemic.

Retail Shopping

Average Savings: $0

Due to online shopping options (eh, hem- Amazon), I don’t think there’s a plethora of data showing people saving a massive amount of money for this category. Longer shipping times may be frustrating, but our wallets are still feeling this area of spend due to inability to visit actual stores!

Ah the joy of simply window shopping unnecessary items… Those were the days.



Average Savings $150+/month 

Gas $200/month+ $50/month Maintenance fund: $250/month


Social Distancing Gas $50/month +$50/mo maintenance fund: $100/month 

New gas milage, who this? Our cars have never gotten a vacation like this before, and our wallets are happy for it. Those who work in oil and gas are hurting, the economy reflects it as well, but the average American is seeing a big savings for this category. Even auto insurance companies are making changes to accommodate the times, such as extended financing deals, much lower minimum payments due, or allowing postponed payments.

Contact us for questions about your auto policy or your auto insurance policy provider for addition information.


Average Savings: 15% or more?

Renters, auto, homeowners, business liability, umbrella policies. While you may see a temporary cut in rates of about 15% from certain carriers, insurance carriers are taking major hits. In crisis is where these companies are called to action, so now  more than ever people are seeing the real face-value of their policies whether it’s a homeowners policy allowing them to make a claim on fixing the roof they actually have time to fix now or an auto policy which is paying for everything for the detrimental total loss situation they ended up in now of all times. Skimping in this area would be a mistake, as it would be for any other time.

Please let us know how we can best serve you in your personal or business insurance needs or have any questions related to your business’ activity in light of the Coronavirus.

J. M. Whitney Insurance is an independent insurance agency located in Watertown, Massachusetts. Give us a call, stop by, or request a quote online to find out how much we can save you on your insurance.

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