Revenge Spending? More Like “Cautious Consumerism” Finds National Survey

QuestionPro survey finds consumers using cash, paying down debt and buying gifts for others.

AUSTIN, Texas, June 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to a national poll of 500 adults in the United States by online survey and research leader QuestionPro, American consumers are warily returning to discretionary spending, using cash/savings to pay down debt, purchase clothing and buy gifts for others. The data show a consumer base still reeling from the pandemic and cautiously using money on their priorities rather than wanton consumerism.

Despite some conjecture about “Revenge Spending”, the data show Americans with a practical, compassionate and somewhat risk-averse approach to spending in the coming months.

  • Nearly 40 percent plan to spend the same as they have for the past six months, while 34 percent say they will decrease spending. Slightly more than a quarter (27 percent) note they will increase spending.

  • What are they buying? Gifts for others was the number one choice, followed by paying down debt and clothing. Additionally, Americans will spend money on experiences, entertainment and technology, in that order.

  • Only 13 percent report using credit cards for these expenses, with 54 percent using cash and 33 percent using savings.

  • When it comes to the psychological impact of Covid-19 on future outlooks, 36 percent plan to increase savings, 38 plan to spend and save at their current rate and 16 percent will be forced to spend income as fast as it comes in because they don’t make enough to save. Only 10 percent note they are spending it as it comes because “you only live once and can’t fear the future.”

“This data set is pretty remarkable in that it paints a picture of an American consumer that is practical, conservative and caring,” said Dan Fleetwood, President of Research & Insights at QuestionPro. “Using cash to buy clothes, give gifts and pay down debt suggests a very real and visceral response to the pandemic – people are being smart with their money but also feeling gratitude. They are also aware that this can happen again and want to be prepared.”

The survey of U.S. consumers was fielded June 16, 2021 and has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent. The survey was conducted using technology and multi-method behavioral fraud detection to verify respondents, including 80+ different security variables which accomplish the following: detection and rejection of suspicious IP addresses; digital fingerprinting; Captcha bot detection; event streaming and analysis, copy paste detection and translation of text detection. Mouse movements on desktops were also tracked.

About QuestionPro
Founded in 2006, QuestionPro is a global provider of online survey and research services that help companies make better decisions through data. From free consumer accounts to robust enterprise-level research, we offer tools for the creation, distribution, and analysis of surveys. We also offer platforms for polling, mobile research and data visualization. Fortune 100 companies rely on us to help unlock insights about customers, employees and the marketplace. With offices in the US, Mexico, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and India, we offer customers 24-7 access to highly trained support specialists and engineers. More information is available at


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