According to a new Bankrate study, of 2,504 adults undertaken between July 17-19 of this year, 68% of Americans skipped “recreational activities” in the past year because they were unable to afford them.
“While the broad-based headlines on the economy have been positive for some time now, we know that the proverbial rising tide doesn’t lift all boats,” remarks Mark Hamrick, who is Bankrate’s senior economic analyst. “Across the country, actual experiences vary with respect to individuals’ personal finances. For some, the challenges involve their employment status and the level of their incomes.”
Results of the survey
Vacations were the most likely recreational activity to be let go, although 28% of Americans feel that it was easier to afford a vacation five years ago. Thirty-two percent of respondents chose not to attend music events and or live art exhibits to mitigate budget concerns. Twenty-eight percent sacrificed eating out with family and friends. One in three respondents said that they would “unplug the TV” if activities in their vicinity were less expensive. Just about four in 10 said they would quit social media, and 30% said that they would give up the internet completely. Gen Zers were particularly unphased by giving up television compared to their parents, while Millennials seemed to have leas trouble bargaining internet use for local recreational activities.
Forty-five percent of millennials said that they missed out on important life events because of the lack of finances, and 33% of baby boomers agreed. As it stands just about half of Americans say that there would not be enough money to pay bills after funding a vacation that lasted more than a weekend.
“I think that people that do that are more successful in their budgets, especially over the long term, keeping within their budgets and not overspending than those who don’t reward themselves,” says Gage Kemsley, vice president at Oxford Wealth Advisors in response to the new Bankrate study. “They’re so rigid with their budget that they don’t have any fun with the money they make. There needs to be a balance.”