Survey Reveals Spending Habits During COVID-19

COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down.

Along with affecting our health and wellbeing, the pandemic has also caused one of the largest economic downturns since the Great Depression. From furloughs to layoffs, Americans have felt the impact of the current economic uncertainty firsthand.

As a digital product and innovation consultancy, Highland regularly partners with companies and entrepreneurs that are seeking to improve financial stability, from Fortune 500 companies to digital-first startups.

In order to get a better understanding of how the pandemic has affected the pocketbooks of Americans, we took a closer look at how personal finances and spending habits have changed since COVID-19 by surveying Americans across the country.

COVID-19 Spending Habits

According to respondents, 63% have cut back on spending during COVID-19 due to a number of reasons, including feeling the need to be more cautious with their finances (60%), experiencing a reduced salary or income (49%), and staying home more often (40%).

Spending Habits since Covid-19

Emergency Savings

Respondent’s emergency savings have also taken a hit since the pandemic. Overall, 47% say they have run out of their emergency savings funds and 67% regret not having enough emergency savings before the pandemic hit. And if they were faced with a surprise $500 expense, 82% say they would not be able to afford it.

Emergency savings survey

According to respondents, only 43% are confident that a second stimulus relief bill will be passed. Of those respondents, 36% believe one will be passed in November and 31% don’t feel it will happen until sometime in 2021.


From Oct. 26 to Oct. 30, 2020, we surveyed 2,002 Americans on the topic of personal finances and spending habits since the pandemic. 48% were male and 52% were female with a median age of 38. Income: Under $20K: 15%; $20–40K: 24%; $40–60K: 27%; $60–80K: 17%; $80–100K: 8%; Over $100K: 9%.

Employment status: Full-time: 67%; part-time: 14%; seeking opportunities: 4%; unemployed due to COVID-19: 4%; unemployed not due to COVID-19: 5%; furloughed: 1%; retired: 3%; prefer not to say: 2%.

For media inquiries, contact

Download “The Essential Guide to Launching a Digital Product for Experts & Expert Firms”

Let's Talk
Tell us about the opportunity you're pursuing, and we'll follow up in one business day. If you prefer, you can email