Where Americans are spending and saving money in coronavirus pandemic
The novel coronavirus profoundly altered our daily routines and spending habits.
As the pandemic shut down much of the country, Americans spent more on essential goods and home entertainment and spent less on travel and eating out, according to a TD Ameritrade survey obtained exclusively by USA Today.
TD Ameritrade surveyed 1,008 Americans who were at least 24 years old from April 24 to May 4.
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Roughly 57 percent of Americans forked over more money on groceries while quarantining at home, according to the numbers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly Consumer Price Index report indicated that grocery bills increased in April, rising an average of 2.6 across households.
More than half of Americans, 53 percent, were quick to dole out more on cleaning products. Thirty-three percent of Americans spent more on takeout, and 32 percent spent more on streaming services. Netflix, for example, picked up nearly 16 million global subscribers during the first three months of the year.
Forty-five percent surveyed said they spent more during quarantine.
With travel limited and restaurants closed, nearly 80 percent said they saved money on dining out while 75 percent said they saved on vacation, the survey indicated.
With retail shops closed, 73 percent saved on buying clothes. And although more than half of the parents surveyed saved a hefty chunk on childcare, an average of $366, most doled out nearly $200 on entertainment and educational resources for their kids.
Overall, those surveyed indicated that the crisis has taught them critical lessons when it comes to money.
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About 74 percent of millennials, who are increasingly tracking their spending due to the virus, say they are starting a more substantial emergency fund. During the crisis, a majority of millennials and Gen Xers discovered their current emergency fund could only cover them for three months or less of day-to-day expenses, according to the data. Comparatively, Baby Boomers have enough to last half a year or more if needed.
While a majority have learned new ways to cut back on spending, roughly 82 percent say the crisis helped them realize that they don't need to spend a penny to have a good time.