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Coinstar Survey Shows Consumers are Developing Good Budgeting and Saving Habits During COVID-19

Will new, positive behavior continue post-pandemic?
BELLEVUE, Wash. - 
April 13, 2021

U.S. consumers are developing positive financial habits during the pandemic that may carry over into their post-COVID lives, according to a national Coinstar® survey conducted among more than 1,000 adults by Atomik Research.

Top Coinstar findings include:

  • More than 3 out of 4 respondents (76%) have a household budget, and 74% are likely to set aside funds in an emergency budget – apart from general savings. 
  • Assuming life begins to return to normal in 2021, about half (46%) plan to tighten their belt by actively spending less; fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) plan to treat themselves and others. 
  • Consumers have been spending money during the pandemic on certain products and services that make the stay-at-home experience a little more tolerable like streaming services (34%) and food delivery (30%). 
  • Post pandemic, consumers are looking to spend more on dining out (47%), vacations (47%), self-care (27%), and below-the-waist attire (20%). Things money can’t buy like spending time with family and friends are also on the list.

New money habits emerge

The majority of respondents have a household budget during these uncertain financial times, and more than two-thirds of respondents (70%) also regularly set aside money in savings, which speaks to a heightened awareness of spending and personal finances. Three in five (61%) plan to adjust their budgets moving forward, and the vast majority (78%) are optimistic about staying on budget.

Cautious spending likely post-pandemic

Even though consumers are ready to “return to normal” as they emerge from COVID-19, survey results indicate continued caution in spending as close to half of the respondents say they plan to spend less. Of those who do plan to splurge, fewer than 1 in 5, may have held back during the height of the pandemic but are now ready to treat themselves and others.

Of Americans surveyed who plan to take action to better set themselves up financially in 2021, 43% will cut back on discretionary spending, 31% will sell personal items, and 27% say they will take on an additional job. Of respondents most likely to use cryptocurrency, 53% say they would consider it as a financial investment.

Making stay-at-home tolerable

More than a third (34%) of respondents said that since the outbreak of COVID-19, they’ve spent more on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Video. More than one-quarter (30%) of respondents opted for restaurant delivery or pick-up to make life easier. Non-traditional “below-the-waist” work attire became the norm during the pandemic, and many say they will invest again in belts, pants, skirts, and shoes. Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents improved their surroundings and spent more on home improvements such as painting, renovating, and repairs. 

It’s the simple pleasures that count 

After a year of isolation and social distancing protocols, respondents are longing to once again enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Respondents who limited normal behaviors during the pandemic now look forward to going on a vacation (53%), seeing friends and family (48%), dining in a restaurant (44%), and hosting home get-togethers (27%).

“Our Coinstar survey reveals some interesting consumer spending insights as people begin to emerge from the pandemic,” said Michael Jack, vice president of product management at Coinstar. “Spare change can be meaningful and may ease people into loosening their budget belts. Coinstar provides an easy and convenient way to convert change at thousands of kiosk locations across the country.”

Research Methodology

Coinstar commissioned Atomik Research to run an online survey of 1,006 adults in the United States regarding their thoughts on personal finance. The margin of error fell within +/- 3 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent. The fieldwork took place between March 8-9, 2021. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency.

About Coinstar

Coinstar® is the global leader in self-service coin counting with 23,000 kiosks in North America, Europe, and Japan. More than 800 billion coins have been processed since Coinstar’s inception in the early 1990s. In the United States, consumers can convert their change to cash, a no-fee eGift card, or donate to charity at supermarket, mass merchant, drug store, and financial institution kiosk locations. Expanded cash services at Coinstar kiosks include purchasing cryptocurrencies and adding money into digital accounts. For brand advertisers, Coinstar now offers adPlanet™, which enables lead generation on the interactive kiosk screen and a flexible digital advertising platform that sits atop Coinstar kiosks at select grocery locations. For more information on Coinstar or kiosk locations, visit


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Mpact Group
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