Household Bills and Financial Health After a Year of COVID-19

95% of Americans Believe COVID-19 Stimulus Checks Helped Improve Their Financial Health Over the Past Year

doxoINSIGHTS: 70% of consumers have cut back spending in at least one household bill category; Cable & Internet and Utilities were the top bill categories trimmed 

SEATTLE – June 10, 2021doxo, the innovative web and mobile bill pay service, today released new survey data on Americans’ habits and sentiments around bill pay and financial health, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest doxoINSIGHTS report, “Household Bills and Financial Health After a Year of COVID-19”, does a deep dive into where households saw the biggest change in their bills since March of last year, how these changes may have impacted their spending and saving habits, both in the short and long term, and whether a series of stimulus checks brought the expected financial relief.

In total, three rounds of stimulus checks were disbursed to households in the U.S.: $1,200 payments in March 2020, $600 payments in February 2021, and $1,400 payments in March 2021. 87% of respondents in the doxo survey received at least one stimulus check.

Key findings from the “Household Bills and Financial Health After a Year of COVID-19” report include:

95% of Americans said stimulus checks helped improve their financial health over the past year

  • Over 9 in 10 people said the stimulus checks helped them between “a little” and “a great deal”
  • 90% of people feel confident that stimulus payments will help the U.S. economy improve between “a little” and “a great deal”
  • 63% of people believe their financial health will recover within a year, 74% of people believe the economy will take more than a year to recover, if at all

The majority of stimulus funds were used towards reducing household bills

  • 3 in 5 Americans (60%) who received stimulus payments over the past year used them to pay household bills
    • Of those, the most popular category to pay by far was Utilities, which was paid in 70% of cases
    • The next most popular were Mobile Phone and Cable/Internet bills, which were paid in 41% and 39% of cases, respectively
  • Paying down debt, at 17%, was the second most popular use while 10% of Americans put the money in savings

70% of consumers cut back spending in at least one household bill category due to the pandemic

  • Nearly half (48%) brought their Cable & Internet bill down
  • 46% of those who reduced at least one bill cut back on expenses in the Utility category

The pandemic spurred changes in both savings and payment behavior

  • Due to major financial changes in Americans’ lives, from lost jobs to reduced discretionary spending, 33% of people saved less income than they did before the pandemic while 21% of people saved more income than they did previously
  • Plans for the future are similarly divided: 27% of people plan to save more income than they did before the pandemic and 21% plan on saving less of their income
  • 25% of people used credit cards to pay bills online more often than they did before the past year
  • As Americans spent time sheltered-in-place, more than half (52%) began to pay their bills online more often than they did previously

“While stimulus relief may have seemed short term, our surveys of household bill payers throughout the last year have indicated support from Americans, and a strong signal they used the money to improve their financial health,” said doxo’s VP of Marketing and Consumer Services, Jim Kreyenhagen. “We aim to make bill pay as transparent as possible for everyone. By offering breakdowns of how much Americans are paying on the whole as well as state-by-state for each of their household bills, and giving consumers access to a simpler, more accessible bill pay experience that eliminates hidden fees, we will continue to support people in developing or improving on their positive financial habits.”

For more information, or to view the entire report, visit www.doxo.com/insights/. 

About doxoINSIGHTS

doxoINSIGHTS provides direct insight into household financial health and spending activity by leveraging consumer surveys and doxo’s unique aggregate bill pay data set, comprising actual bill payment activity to confirmed household service providers across the country. doxo data brings together the broadest available data set for analyzing actual household bill payment activity, pulling from over 5 million paying consumers across over 90% of U.S. zip codes. doxo’s payment network covers over 100,000 billers in 45 different service categories and enables payments using bank accounts, credit cards or debit cards. This uniquely broad statistical foundation powers doxoINSIGHTS reports – uncovering key trends for household financial health and bill payment behavior.

About doxo

doxo provides simple, secure all-in-one bill payment to any biller, with any payment method, on any device. A doxoPLUS subscription adds free bank payments and five essential financial protections that boost household financial health. Through these services, doxo currently serves over four million paying users who can make payments to over 100,000 local and national businesses, making doxo the largest bill pay directory in the nation. Billers on the network get paid directly, fast and free – and consumers have complete bill pay independence over when and how they pay their bills. doxo expanded its user base by more than 70 percent in the past year and is expanding its team to further accelerate growth and change the bill pay landscape to focus on the customer. doxo investors include MDV, Sigma Partners, and Bezos Expeditions. doxo is based in Seattle, WA. For more information visit www.doxo.com.

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