By Zoya Gervis // SWNS
One in four (24%) Americans have missed a payment on at least one of their bills since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to new research.
A poll of 2,000 Americans found that in a bid to survive the pandemic financially, over a quarter (26%) who have missed payments have skipped paying their cell phone bills and their cable bills.
While a quarter of those who’ve had a missed payment during the COVID-19 pandemic, skipped paying their streaming services bills and their electricity and utilities.
The study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of EnergyBot aimed to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Americans’ financial health and discovered that ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the average American whose skipped a payment has missed five bill payments in total.
Sixty-three percent find themselves always worried about having enough money to pay all their bills on time while 58% reveal their financial liabilities in the form of bills have been a source of stress for them since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In an effort to save money, 65% have had to sacrifice certain things during COVID-19 just to get by and pay all their bills.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 38% of those who have had to sacrifice things have cut back on their streaming services while a further 35% said goodbye to takeout so they’d have enough money to pay their bills.
And over half (52%) are only spending money on essential items.
Whether it’s no longer using premium toilet paper or putting premium gas in their cars, 43% also say they are giving up luxuries and premium quality products so they can afford the essentials amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Forty-one percent of respondents reveal they’ve adopted a more minimalistic lifestyle while a further 39% just aren’t using credit cards and solely using cash when making purchases to curtail their spending habits.
In an effort to afford their essentials, over a third (34%) have unfortunately had to dip into their emergency funds just to pay for necessities like electricity and rent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted people’s financial situation in such an extreme way that over half (55%) say their lack of finances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic simply overwhelms them.
And this overwhelm is increased when a home appliance goes on the fritz. Unfortunately, 35% of respondents have had to deal with a broken home appliance during COVID-19.
Of those who’ve had to deal with the very difficult issues of a broken home appliance, 68% tried to repair the appliance themselves — or have their spouse fix it.
What’s worse, when these DIY attempts didn’t fix the problem, a third (33%) of Americans have had to sadly dip into their savings just to afford the repair costs.
However, when asked if Americans would have enough money to pay for any emergency repair services to any home appliance, 37% said they wouldn’t be able to afford to fix their broken appliance.
TOP 5 THINGS AMERICANS GAVE UP/CUT BACK ON DURING COVID-19 IN AN EFFORT TO PAY THEIR BILLS (OF THOSE WHO’VE CUT BACK ON THINGS)
- Gym memberships/ online gym memberships 39%
- Streaming services 38%
- Cable 35%
- Chocolate 32%
- Ice cream 31%
TOP 5 BILLS AMERICANS HAVE MISSED DURING COVID-19 (OF THOSE WHO’VE MISSED A PAYMENT)
- Cell phone 26%
- Cable 26%
- Electricity/utility 25%
- Streaming services 25%
- Credit card(s) 24%
TOP 5 WAYS AMERICANS SAVE MONEY ON ENERGY USAGE
- Turning off the lights whenever they are not needed 62%
- Turning off all relevant appliances when they are not in use 46%
- Keeping the windows and doors closed when the heating is on 42%
- Opening the windows instead of adjusting the AC 36%
- Using blinds to control the temperature of the room 33%