LOS ANGELES, Aug. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half of Americans credit the COVID-19 pandemic with finally teaching them how to be smart with their money, according to a new survey commissioned by Slickdeals, the leading social platform for shopping.
A similar study from two years ago showed this number is, in fact, up. In 2018, only 42% felt very smart with money; in 2020, that number jumped to 51%. Another two in three say the pandemic has turned them into a frugal person.
The polls of 2,000 Americans, both conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Slickdeals, looked into how the pandemic changed Americans' mindsets about their money and how they define being "cheap" vs. being "frugal." The recent survey was created to mirror the 2018 version in order to compare how much the results have changed after two years and a global pandemic.
According to the new survey, the average American becomes a frugal person at the age of 31, with one in four saying it happened even earlier for them. Two in three Americans also said that they consider being called frugal a compliment.
"The coronavirus pandemic has tragically impacted the financial situations of many people, and brought new focus to the importance of prioritizing spending," said Josh Meyers, CEO of Slickdeals. "We see a shift toward smarter spending with 65 percent of respondents indicating that the pandemic has transformed them into a frugal person, and 67 percent reporting that being called frugal is actually a compliment."
Interestingly, there was a shift in perception about tipping the minimum (15%-20%) regardless of service, which was found to be "cheap" by respondents. In 2018, skimping on the tip was voted to be an act of frugality.
On the other hand, clothes shopping at second hand stores, buying off-brand food products, buying no-name electronics, tracking your electricity and heating usage at home to keep the utility bills down, and always seeking out deals or coupons when going shopping, were all voted as "frugal."
Your financial mindset can also be impactful when on the dating scene. Two-thirds of those polled said they actually think using a coupon on a first date is completely acceptable. In fact, 45% said they'd happily use a coupon on a first date.
Added Meyers, "Being frugal encompasses money, convenience and time, coupled with value. At Slickdeals, we equate frugality with smart shopping and we've assembled the largest community of savvy consumers so users can score the best deals on the best products, with insight from millions of real people."
CHEAP OR FRUGAL?
Tipping the minimum acceptable amount (15- 20%) regardless of service
Regularly tracking electricity use (switching off lights/appliances when they aren't in use)
Declining to be a part of rounds at the bar
Regularly tracking the home thermostat (keeping the heat as low as possible)
Calculating your part of a group bill to the cent
Watching movies at home instead of in the theater
Keeping outdated or worn out electronics, as long as they still barely work
Shopping at second hand clothing stores
Reusing tea bags or coffee filters
Buying clothes at department stores like Kmart, Walmart etc
Eating food a few days past its expiration date
Buying off-brand food products
Lengthening longevity of soap by diluting soap bottles with water
Buying no-name electronics (such as ear buds from the corner stone)
Giving up drinking while at bars or restaurants / Only having alcohol at home
Slickdeals is the leading social platform for shopping, where 12 million users interact to share the most up-to-date information on online shopping deals and coupons. Through the power of crowdsourcing, Slickdeals has saved its users over $6.8 billion by providing a forum for communication; as well as shopping tools such as its free Android or iOS app and its browser extension for Chrome and Edge. Slickdeals consistently ranks in the Top 100 most visited sites in the U.S. per Alexa.