NEW YORK — From our social lives to professional careers, life as we know it has shifted since the beginning of 2020. Well, almost everything; millions may have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean the bills have stopped coming. Indeed, paying off bills are an unavoidable part of life, even during a pandemic. Unfortunately, a new survey of 2,000 Americans finds that one in four (24%) have already missed at least one payment since the pandemic began.
Among that group, 26% say they haven’t paid their cell phone or cable bills. Another 25% failed to pay for streaming services, and perhaps more worryingly, some of their electricity or utilities bills.
On average, Americans who admit to skipping a bill payment have missed five bills altogether.
Commissioned by EnergyBot, the survey set out to gauge just how much COVID-19 has dealt a blow to Americans financially. Predictably, money is a big concern these days. In fact, 63% say the’re “always” worried about paying all their bills right now. Similarly, 58% are battling extra stress over their bills since the pandemic started.
Ways we’re cutting back
With those last stats in mind, it makes sense then that 65% of respondents admit they’ve had to make some sacrifices lately to make ends meet. What type of sacrifices are we talking about? Many have cancelled subscription services (38%) and gym memberships (39%). Others are cutting costs by no longer ordering takeout food (35%).
All in all, 52% say they only buy the “essentials” these days. Another 43% are no longer buying premium quality goods (toilet paper, gas) in an effort to save some cash. Some are adopting new lifestyles: 41% say they’re following “minimalistic” approach to life.
Moreover, about two in five people never use their credit card anymore because it encourages them to spend more.
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