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Seattle financial expert says 2020 changed our approach to budgeting

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tori Dunlap noticed a shift in how people tackle their finances.

Although many Americans are facing financial setbacks due to the pandemic, some say 2020 helped them focus on saving. 

"2020 definitely changed the way people view money. I think we are going to be so much more conscious of where we're spending our money and voting with our dollars," said money expert Tori Dunlap.

While 2020 presented some tough financial blows, it also caused some people to focus on making sure their finances could survive another crisis.

"We're also going to be much more focused on building a financial foundation for ourselves in terms of emergency funds, paying off credit card debt in order to feel more confident heading into this next year," said Dunlap. 

Dunlap founded Her First $100Ka money and career platform for women. 

Since the start of the pandemic, Dunlap has noticed a shift in how people tackle their finances.

"I grew my TikTok following to over 800,000 in four months, which for me, is a testament that people, especially women, are looking for this advice," said Dunlap.

According to a recent Credit Karma survey, 43% of Americans have new financial habits as a result of the pandemic, and 94% of that group plans to keep up those strategies in 2021.  

"I've been thinking about ways to cut back on things I don't necessarily need like subscriptions and ways to condense," said Moji Igun.

Igun, like many others, is focused on her financial future. 

"Well, I'm no longer saving for vacation or travel, which is very sad. But I no longer need to do that anymore, so that money has been shifted to retirement savings and also other financial goals," said Igun. 

Financial experts say this trend isn't going anywhere.

"I think a lot of people are changing their relationships with money, hopefully for the better," said Dunlap. 

Dunlap suggests using your stimulus check or any extra money you receive to pay outstanding bills and then focus on your savings. 

"I don't think we get through a pandemic without changing our entire lives in the way we live them and that includes our finances and we're, of course, still not out of the woods yet," said Dunlap.