If We’re Barely Going Out, How Can We Be Spending More?

Millions of Americans spending most their time at home are still managing to spend more on food, entertainment and alcohol

We may be sheltering at home, but apparently our wallet didn’t get the message.

How on earth can our spending be higher if we’re barely leaving the house?

While the vast majority of Americans do believe they have cut back on spending while social distancing, an estimated 58 million people admit to spending more money even though they are cooped up inside their home, according to WalletHub’s Coronavirus Shopping Survey, released last week.

The survey shows how sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way Americans spend and shop.

Grocery spending rises.  For many people, grocery bills are higher than pre-pandemic levels, as families eat more meals at home and may have extra mouths to feed as college students and young adults have returned to shelter back home.

Small splurges. Others are breaking the monthly budget by indulging in comfort shopping. For example, consumers report they’re buying things online to ease stress, pass the time and make themselves feel better in a difficult time. “While some overspending may be attributed to stockpiling essentials, other Americans may be spending beyond their means due to stress or simply boredom,” says Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.

Taking the edge off. American consumers are definitely spending more in a few key areas as they try to make the best of stay-at-home directives.  It seems most of their “non-essential” spending is going to entertainment expenses (29 percent) and alcohol (23 percent), says WalletHub. To your health!

About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!

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