SURVEY: After Missing in Pandemic- Majority of Americans Plan To Splurge on These Top 10 Things

The “Roaring 20s” are just around the corner for seven in 10 Americans who plan to go all out with their finances in the coming years by enjoying what they missed out on in the last two years.

A survey of 2,000 adults found 70% are looking to have more fun with their finances over the next decade, with 84% believing those plans to spend more freely are due to having built a financial safety net during the pandemic.

Fifty-nine percent of Gen Zers (ages 18 to 24) are more likely to enjoy their money in the coming years, compared to 45% of millennials (ages 25 to 40) and 25% of Gen Xers (41 to 56).

On the other hand, 36% of boomers (57+) plan to stick to a very tight budget, while still enjoying themselves by spending some of their money.

When it comes to emergency funds, close to three-quarters (73%) have a savings account set up for when they need it most—with an average of $3,816.

Commissioned by Alliant Credit Union and conducted by OnePoll, the survey revealed 77% of millennials have retooled their budgets since the pandemic began, as compared to an average of 72% of all generations.

A third of those polled (31%) prefer spending money on experiences, and a quarter (25%) on material things.

Over the next decade, respondents want to spend more money on:

  1. Traveling – 44%
  2. Home goods/decor – 40%
  3. Consumer electronics – 38%
  4. Restaurants – 37%
  5. Groceries – 37%
  6. Clothing – 37%
  7. Live entertainment – 37%
  8. Shoes – 29%
  9. Museum exhibits – 27%

“The last couple of years have helped us all realize what we value most,” said Director Chris Moore, of Alliant Credit Union. “Saving for retirement and a rainy day is incredibly important, but so is spending money on the things that bring you joy each day.”

“As long as you realistically budget for it, you can truly enjoy spending money on that next vacation or new gadget,” she added.

Still, a majority believe that with great fun comes great responsibility. Four in five of respondents are careful with their finances, with 73% of people regularly following a monthly budget.Of all generations, Gen Xers describe themselves as the most cautious with their finances (87%), compared to seniors over 76 (84%), boomers (83%), millennials (78%) and Gen-Z (76%).Many respondents even use spreadsheets (45%) and budgeting apps (38%) to help them stay on top of purchases.

“Every successful budget needs a ‘fun’ spending category,” assures Moore. “The key is to set realistic savings goals and budget accordingly so you know exactly how much you can spend on the things you love—and it’s OK to adjust your budget each month to spend extra on the experiences for which you’ve been missing out.”