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6 Pandemic Expenses That Are Here To Stay

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lcva2 / iStock.com

Many aspects of our personal and professional lives have been radically changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the most outstanding changes are reflected in our monthly billing statements, and these extra expenses are here to stay.

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Let’s review some of the most popular pandemic expenses worth making room for in your budget.

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Delivery Services

Most households relied on delivery services during the pandemic to deliver everything they needed directly to their door. Seemingly overnight, delivery companies like Instacart and DoorDash became household names for their ability to safely and quickly deliver everything from fast food to groceries directly to our doors.

While most people feel much more comfortable going out now than in March 2020, these delivery apps are likely to stay on smartphones as a helpful convenience.

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Streaming Services

At-home entertainment experienced a significant spike in users during the early days of the pandemic. In lieu of visiting movie theaters, many Americans brought entertainment home via streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+. 

While many budget-conscious Americans are currently reviewing which streaming services to keep or hit unsubscribe from to fight inflation, streaming services themselves continue to grow their subscriber base. In February 2022, CNBC reported Disney+ gained 11.7 million subscribers last quarter, outpacing all streaming services.

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Home Office Furnishings

Not all Americans will be returning to the office. Those who plan to keep working remote indefinitely continue to invest in home office furnishings. 

Furniture sales boomed in 2021, with an estimated $11.3 billion spent in February 2021 at furniture and home furnishing stores. While demand is on the rise for beds, sofas and outdoor patio furniture, home office furnishings including desks and ergonomic chairs remain hot investments for professionals continuing to work from home.

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Home Fitness Services

In the early days of lockdown, gyms were not considered an essential business and were closed until further notice. Exercise enthusiasts began building at-home gyms and sales boomed for products like stationary bikes, workout apparel, sneakers and other fitness gear necessities like cardio machines and yoga mats. NPD retail data reveals that from March 2020 to October 2020, revenue for health and fitness equipment more than doubled to $2.3 billion. 

Will Americans still spend on these services now that gyms have reopened? The answer is most likely yes. Home fitness services pull the most weight on the days where you don’t feel like going into a physical gym and would rather do a workout routine from the comfort of your own home.

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Professional Cleaning Services

We might be past the initial days of the COVID-19 lockdown where sprays, wipes and bleach were being used around the clock to disinfect any and all surfaces, but that doesn’t mean we won’t need professional cleaning services moving forward.

As many Americans return to the office, businesses will continue spending on cleaning crews and professional cleaning services to ensure employees return to a safe, and sanitary, space. The United States professional cleaning services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6% from 2021 until 2026.

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Telehealth

The intersection of technology and healthcare is telehealth. Patients that have access to their phones and the internet may schedule and meet with their healthcare providers through the help of virtual healthcare services. 

While telehealth utilization has stabilized since its initial spike, it reflects that many patients now and in the near future may opt for a virtual medical visit with their primary care physician.

Beyond physical health, telehealth also extends to on-demand mental health support, one of the most in-demand employee benefits two years into the pandemic.

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