Americans tighten budgets as pandemic drags on

Sept. 5, 2020 — It’s often said that Americans don’t save enough, but COVID-19 is changing all that, at least for now, according to a Consumer Reports study.

More than half of U.S. consumers have cut back on spending since the coronavirus pandemic began, the magazine found. While the findings applied to all age groups, there was one exception: high wage earners were least likely to say they were being much more cautious about their spending.

The survey by the Consumer Reports’ American Experiences Survey team studied a nationally representative sample of 2,236 adults from Aug. 7 through Aug. 19. The study found Americans less concerned about the spread of COVID-19 than they were in July but were cutting back on spending and limiting travel nonetheless.

As for flying, half of those surveyed said they would only fly for an important event or a reason such as a family emergency. The majority of them say that strict rules around social distancing and wearing masks would need to be in place for them to feel comfortable flying. Nineteen percent said it would take a vaccine to make them feel comfortable enough to fly.