Fidgety Finances: Why Some Consumers Are Cutting Back Their Spending

Email teams may have a handle on how discounts and loyalty programs can drive response. But do they understand the ways current events are shaping behavior? 

Take the recession that pundits say is on the way. While 59% expect to maintain their spending levels as consumers in the next 12 months, 34% are cutting back and only 7% plan an increase, according to “How are our values changing,” a study from Oomiji.   

Why are people cutting back? They cite: 

  • Uncertainty about world and economy — 46% 
  • Fear of inflation — 21%
  • Making less money — 16% 
  • Preparing for retirement — 8% 
  • Making the same money — 8% 
  • Making more money & saving — 3%

But here’s one caveat: The respondents are business executives presumably discussing their behavior as consumers—are they truly representative? And, 34% the single biggest bloc, are from the Mid-Atlantic region, primarily the area around New York City.  



Meanwhile, on the other side of the spending question, some are freer with their pursestrings for these reasons:

  • Necessary to maintain lifestyle — 16% 
  • Inflation demands it — 32% 
  • Making more money — 52%

Of course, 83% say their incomes have not changed and that’s one reason they will maintain their spending. 

Then there is the pandemic. Few people believe it is over and that things are returning to normal: 

  • It’s not over but we have no choice but to live and work with it — 57%
  • It’s declining, maybe over but there will be another one in the future — 20% 
  • It’s over but life and work will never be the same — 15%
  • It’s over and we’re returning to the way things were before — 4%
  • Other — 4% 

This has affected work and spending habits:

  • I work remotely more and spend less time outside my home — 57%
  • I have significantly adjusted how I spend my money — 15% 
  • I have paused working to focus on other priorities — 8%
  • I have changed careers entirely — 8%
  • Other — 7% 
  • No change — 5%

The war in Ukraine is also affecting their morale—81% say it’s causing them to feel more concerned the world, and our neighbors and friends. 

At the same time, most want business to favor values over stakeholders. They say businesses should:

  • Place more emphasis on values that improve the world — 64%
  • Act in a way that best suits their customers — 19%
  • Act in whatever way best suits the business and its stakeholders — 13%
  • Other — 4% 

What are people’s top concerns about the future? In response to this open-ended question, they cite: 

  • Climate change, environment & planet health — 17% 
  • Hate, extremism, divisiveness & injustice — 16%
  • War, threat to world piece — 15%
  • Threat to Democracy, Authoritarianism, Polarization, Disinformation, Radicalism — 15% 
  • Inflation, Economic stability, wealth gap, recession, financial security, growth — 14%
  • Health & well being, food, security children, healthcare, families, quality of life — 11% 
  • Government ineffectiveness, Education, Corporate greed, supply chain corruption, leadership — 6% 

Oomiji surveyed 350 business executives from April 3-May 3, 2022 through LinkedIn. Of those, 47% were Baby Boomers, 32% Gen X and 18% millennials. 






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