Pandemic vices put more consumers in debt: “It’s 100% instant gratification”
Alcohol, cigarettes, adult entertainment and lottery tickets are just a few of the items 70% of Americans splurge on during pandemic, new survey from financial services company EnlargeSilver suggests.
The survey interviewed 1,550 Americans between Jan. 8 and Jan. 11, nearly a year since the virus spread to the United States, and found that consumers had spent nearly $ 950 each on their vices. since the start of the pandemic. And 38% of them said they used their savings money to cover the not-so-cheap thrills, with potentially costly long-term financial consequences.
Consumers who struggled the most during the pandemic were in debt because of their spending, including: 33% who were made redundant or on leave; 26% of millennials; and 21% of GenZers. And 17% of all respondents have taken on debt for a defect in the past year.
Michael Salogub., 29, who lives in Westchester, NY, can relate. He admits spending over $ 1,000 on his iced coffee habit (despite having a coffee maker at home), adding that he overspended Amazon a bit too much on “unnecessary gimmicks.”
“It’s 100% instant gratification,” Salogub told Fox Business, admitting he should curb his habits after buying a home during the pandemic. “You can’t go to the store, so it raises the endorphins once you see the ‘package is 10 blocks away’ [in a tracking email]. It’s good to have something to look forward to that isn’t canceled or rescheduled because of COVID, ”he added.
He is certainly not alone. A number of studies have shown that increased stress can lead to increased impulse consumer spending on tangible items and fleeting experiences. A separate report from CreditKarama.com found that 52% of Americans made impulse purchases to deal with feelings of stress, anxiety or depression – which are all on the rise due to the isolation, job loss and grief brought on by the pandemic.
What’s more, unemployment and time off during the pandemic also led to increased spending with 28% of those polled who were laid off or on leave admitting to spending more money on adult entertainment in particular, the ‘investigation.
Yet many are grappling with buyer’s remorse as a result. Indeed, 45% of those who spent money on defects in 2020 said they felt guilty, according to the MagnifyMoney survey.