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

A Year of COVID-19: Changes in Consumer Spending and Saving Habits

Today we released new survey data on Americans’ habits and sentiments around bill pay and financial health, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey data is presented in doxoINSIGHTS’ new report, “Household Bills and Financial Health After a Year of COVID-19: Changes in Consumer Saving and Spending Habits.” The report shows where households saw the biggest change in their bills since March of last year, how these changes 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.

Key findings from the 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

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

7/27/21 UPDATE: doxoINSIGHTS has released a second report on the financial impact of the pandemic, specifically on the changes in household spending on bills affected by remote work, like Utilities and Internet. See A Year of COVID-19: The Financial Impact of Working From Home.

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