The coronavirus pandemic stopped most of us in our tracks, making us reevaluate how we work, travel, and even how we shop for clothes or groceries. When the virus caused us all to stay at home in March, people all over the country began reevaluating many aspects of their lives.
From spending to mental health, a new survey of 1,000 Americans, conducted between June 15 and 17 by Propeller Insights on behalf of Kindur as a part of Silvur’s New Retirement Normal campaign, reveals how people in the U.S. have shifted their opinions on wide-ranging topics.
How many Americans want to save more money?
Individuals financial situations during the pandemic vary widely. While many were laid off or furloughed from their jobs, others were saving money by not commuting, not eating out, and not frequenting bars for an after-work drink. No matter the situation, it’s clear that many professionals have been mindful of their finances, with 72.4% of respondents reporting that the pandemic has changed the way they think about spending.
The change in opinion on spending varies slightly between generations, with Millennials coming out on top as the generation most likely to change the way they think about spending during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the survey, 79% of Millennials have shifted their views on spending during this unprecedented time, compared to 75% of Generation X and only 64% of Baby Boomers. This is not too surprising as one of the main Millennial characteristics is that they are fiscally responsible and want to know more about personal finance.
Many Americans have begun to save money during the pandemic, with 54% of respondents saying they are spending about $125 to $500+ less per month during the months of quarantine.
Even Baby Boomers who have already saved for retirement are saving more, with 48% of respondents saying they are saving an extra $125 to $500+ per month during quarantine.
Some respondents have done some soul searching during the pandemic, with 44% of people reporting that they realize they can now live with fewer luxuries. Instead, many plan to continue the money-saving habits that they developed in quarantine, which include cooking more instead of ordering in or eating at a restaurant, and taking advantage of streaming television instead of going to live events.
Others are also relying on gardening instead of buying all of their produce, while many (70%) are looking for deals in the stores and reporting they would like the ability to save more on day-to-day purchases.
When it comes to financial goals, you can bet a global pandemic has begun to shift those as well. The goal of saving up for an emergency fund increased from 30% before the pandemic to 35% in post-quarantine goals.
What has changed between pre- and post-quarantine goals?
Speaking of goals, quarantine gave some people a lot of time to think about what is important to them.
It’s not too surprising that “spending more time outdoors” became more important to some Americans, jumping from 27% pre-quarantine to 32% post-quarantine.
As the coronavirus pandemic is a global health crisis, it’s also not too surprising that slightly more people have a goal of focusing on their health, increasing from 42% pre-quarantine to 45% post-quarantine. On a related note, there was also a slight increase in wanting to be more active, with 38.5% reporting this goal pre-quarantine and 40% listing this as a goal post-quarantine.
How has technology usage changed?
Habits and routines no doubt changed for many Americans during quarantine, with many looking for new ways to stay occupied while staying inside. When it comes to phone use, 70% used social media to stay occupied and 60% used streaming services.
It’s not yet clear if all virtual services will continue after the pandemic is over, but many were utilized while people were stuck at home.
According to the survey, 40% of people used banking apps to stay up to date on their finances, 54% have seen their doctor virtually, 43% have used online learning, and 37% have taken an online exercise class.
While some will continue to use these virtual services after things are opened up again, 54% of respondents just want to get back to normal, saying they don’t plan on using the virtual services after the pandemic is fully over.
Coronavirus pandemic impact on mental health
The coronavirus pandemic and resulting quarantine is said to have caused another pandemic around the country –one that relates to mental health. According to the survey, 28% of Americans agree somewhat to a lot the they have more anxiety after the pandemic than they did before.
Due to COVID-19, 51% also report experiencing moderate to severe financial anxiety during this time.
Jennifer Fabiano is an SEO reporter at Ladders.