money

Research Shows Shift in Consumer Spending, Saving Habits

Respondents’ Goals for 2021 Include Paying Off Debt and Increasing Savings

Provident Bank, a leading New Jersey-based financial institution, announced the results of a new survey examining U.S. consumers’ banking experiences and habits over the course of the year. Not surprisingly, the pandemic has changed the way survey respondents spend their money, including:

  • 40% are spending less on travel, vacations and dining;
  • 32% reported that they’ve spent more money on new needs because of the pandemic; and
  • 27% are spending less money because they are more conscious of saving for an emergency.

“As a result of COVID-19, many Americans have changed or lost jobs and have had to reconsider how they spend and save their money,” said Vito Giannola, executive vice president, chief retail banking officer, Provident Bank. “Many are looking ahead to the new year and setting new financial priorities – including increased savings efforts given the unpredictability of 2020.”

Saving for the future is critical

An overwhelming majority of respondents (98%) agreed that it is either very important or moderately important to save money in the event of a future crisis as a result of the pandemic.

Additionally:

  • 95% think it is very important or moderately important to save for retirement;
  • 88% think investment opportunities are important or moderately important for 2021; and
  • 51% are investing their money differently as a result of the pandemic, while 34% do not plan to change their investments.

“Although it has been a challenging year, consumers report continued positive relationships with their banking partners,” said Giannola.

Despite the pandemic, 89% of respondents rated their bank experience as very good or good over the last year. Similarly, nearly 80% of respondents gave their bank’s customer service a positive rating.

2021 brings new financial goals

As we move forward to 2021, consumers are focused on setting new objectives when it comes to their finances. Survey respondents cited the following as their financial goals for the new year:

  • Improve overall savings – 65%
  • Pay off debt – 60%
  • Set a budget – 51%
  • Buy a home – 24%

“From refinancing to focusing more on retirement, we see a clear shift in the way our customers think about and handle their finances, and we expect that to continue into the new year,” added Giannola.

Provident Bank’s survey was conducted online in November 2020 and surveyed 400 U.S. adults nationwide (ages 18+).

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