Spending Trends From Quicken Users Highlight COVID-19 Impact
Anonymized data from over half a million users of Quicken, America’s best-selling personal finance software, underscores just how suddenly and dramatically Americans changed both their spending behavior and lifestyles as a result of COVID-19.
“The spending trends we’re seeing across our users reveal how people’s lives have been upended over the past few months,” said Eric Dunn, CEO of Quicken. “Spending early in the year was strong in nearly every category, but when the pandemic hit we saw drastic spending swings. The data illustrates the challenges that many business sectors are currently facing and paints a dramatic picture of life during the pandemic.”
With the onset of shelter in place and quarantine orders, as well as moves to conduct both work and education from home, there were clear changes in the way Americans spent their money. The biggest drops came from travel and restaurants, while at home expenses like grocery, liquor and home improvement spiked early in the pandemic.
Consumers quickly filled the fridge, but restaurants took a major hit
- Quicken users spent nearly 50% more on groceries in March, compared to February.
- Pets got some extra attention as well — with average spending on pet food and supplies increasing 30% in the same period of time.
- Restaurant spending during the pandemic was cut significantly — down 21% in March and 39% in April compared to the previous month.
- Fast food also saw a dip, but it was less dramatic than restaurants, with spending down 15% in March and 21% in April compared to the previous month. Both restaurants and fast food saw small gains in May (1% for restaurants and 2% for fast food).