American’s Financial Stability And Spending Habits In 2020 And Beyond

American’s Financial Stability And Spending Habits In 2020 And Beyond

Many American’s have had to adjust their spending and saving habits in 2020 largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some American’s have had to cut back on their spending habits because of job loss or pay cuts, other Americans have been able to spend more because they still have job and less things to do during the pandemic.

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Spending And Savings Habits In 2020

A new survey from Travis Credit Union, asked 2,000 American consumers about how they’ve approached both spending and savings during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how they plan to adjusting their spending and savings habits moving into 2021. Let’s examine what they found in their survey of American consumers.

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I’ve spent more money during the COVID-19 pandemic

As I mentioned above the survey results from Travis Credit Union were a bit mixed. Over 33% of American’s reported that they actually spent more money in 2020 than in previous years. 62% of those also said they spent they extra money on purpose. When asked why they spent more money in 2020 than in previously years, 46% of Americans said they did so because they were stressed or had anxiety related to COVID-19. 29% of Americans said their spending was related to boredom and spending too much time at home. Another 26% said their spending was done unconsciously.

For those who increased their spending during COVID they said they spent more on purchase like household supplies, entertainment, dining out or ordering food delivery, general shopping expenses, personal care products, booze and alcohol and as well as clothing purchases.

I’ve spent less money during the COVID-19 pandemic

On the flip side of the coin, there was not surprisingly many Americans who reported spending less money in 2020 as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 50% of those surveyed reported spending less in 2020 that in previously years. 67% of those respondents said they spent less on purpose or because they were trying to adjust their spending budget.

As for the top reasons why Americans spent less? Over 50% said they did so because of financial uncertainty directly related to COVID-19. Another 28% reported that had fewer opportunities to spend money because they were not really going out much. 15% said that job loss or furlough forced them to cut back on their spending habits in 2020.

When asked where Americans were spending less money in 2020, many said they choose to cut back on things like dining out, travel, clothing, shopping, entertainment, and alcohol. Interestingly enough many of the expenses people cut back on this list were on the same list of the people who were spending more money in 2020.

The good news to come out of this survey is that many Americans are more optimistic about their spending and financial habits in 2021 as we start to turn the corner on the pandemic. 86% are optimistic moving into 2021. 50% plan to spend less and 40% plan to save more.

Spending Habits 2020

Spending Habits 2020

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver
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