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N26 Survey Finds Americans Saved Over $2,000 due to Cancelled Plans in 2020

New N26 survey indicates that the COVID-19 crisis has made Americans approach money, travel and family differently in a post-pandemic world

N26, the mobile banking platform that is changing the way U.S. consumers bank, today released new survey results that reveal the global impact of COVID-19 and how the pandemic has shifted individual spending habits. The survey, which captured data from over 3,000 adults across the U.S., shows that 2020 was set to be a big spending year for people across the country, with nearly two-thirds (61%) of respondents saying they had planned to spend money on big-ticket items such as buying a new car, paying off debt, going on a vacation abroad, or buying a new house. But as new challenges and priorities emerged with the crisis, 63% of respondents were forced to cancel or postpone such spending. While 39% of respondents in this situation lost money because of cancelled plans (with an average loss of $759), 71% actually saved money as a result. What’s more, those who held onto their money managed to save an average of $2,102.

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The survey also highlights people’s evolving feelings towards travel. N26 found that while just under a third (30%) of respondents were planning to go abroad this year, only 21% of those with foreign travel plans had or anticipate having their plans go as originally intended. Because of COVID-19, 58% of respondents are either considering or have already taken a staycation this year — the first staycation for 34% of those respondents.

The survey further indicates that 64% of respondents have taken up new habits as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on their daily lives. 34% of respondents spoke to family more in the wake of COVID-19, and 79% of those respondents are committed to doing so post-pandemic. Additionally, almost a quarter (22%) of respondents acknowledge that COVID-19’s impact has made them more likely to speak about money to loved ones.

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Additional key takeaways from the survey include:

  • Financial Support: About a quarter (26%) of respondents have had to seek financial support during the COVID-19 crisis. For young Americans ages 18-24, their parents were their top choice (41%), followed by a close friend (26%), and then the government (19%).
  • International Worry: Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents said they’re worried about foreign travel starting up again. Why? The top concern was that it would increase the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. (38%), followed by concern for personal health or that of a loved one (32%), and concern about getting stranded in a foreign country because of travel restrictions (19%).
  • Staycation Destinations: 46% of respondents don’t think it’s wise to travel abroad at the moment due to COVID-19, and would rather opt to stay close to home. The survey finds that the beach is the favorite destination in the U.S. for a staycation (23%), with mountainous (21%) and rural destinations (19%) coming in as close runners-up.
  • Shift in Financial Habits: Respondents are adopting new financial habits such as increased utilization of mobile banking (31%) and online grocery purchase (31%). Over a quarter (28%) of respondents have also opted to pay more by card than by cash during the crisis, and 63% of those respondents will continue to do so after the crisis has passed.

“The pandemic has forced us to become more cautious with our money. We are seeing that people are developing new digital habits, especially with their finances, as our plans and lives have entirely changed,” said Alex Weber, Chief Growth Officer of N26. “Now more than ever, consumers need trust, flexibility and a safer experience as they adapt to these new financial changes. At N26, we’re dedicated to helping consumers become more financially confident and we are proud to offer a product that empowers people to live and bank their way.”

In response to shifting global attitudes towards travel and spending, N26 is continuing its call for people to get involved in the world’s largest online banking discussion: the Big Banking Chat. The global campaign seeks to surface people’s questions and concerns when it comes to their personal finances, and help provide answers and tips so that people can feel confident in managing their finances as we confront this new reality.

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