Older Americans more concerned with inflation, cut back on spending: report

Older Americans are most concerned with inflation, a new report suggests. (iStock)

Older generations are expressing higher levels of concern over rising prices and inflation, according to a new report from Morning Consult.

In June, about 78% of Baby Boomers and 67% of Gen Xers reported feeling “very concerned” about inflation, according to Morning Consult’s US Supply Chains and Inflation Report. That’s compared to 55% of Millennials and less than half of Gen Z adults.

Inflation surged to a new 40-year high in May with no signs of slowing as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached an annual rate of 8.6%, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That came after inflation eased slightly in April, falling to 8.3% annually. On a monthly basis, inflation increased by 1% from April to May.

“Spending growth faced gathering headwinds in June, as consumers faced with higher-than-expected prices were increasingly inclined to trade down or opt out of purchases,” according to the report. “While demand for durable goods and housing had already begun to weaken in May, consumers in June also increasingly resisted price hikes for services, potentially delaying the return to pre-pandemic spending patterns.”

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Americans cut back on spending as inflation soars

As prices heat up, Americans are now opting out of purchases and turning to cheaper substitutes, according to the report

One major area affected by rising prices is travel. During the summer driving season when vacations are more common, the new study predicts rising gas prices could cause more Americans to stay at home.

In June, 45% of adults said they drove less over the past month, up from 38% of consumers who said the same in May. About 90% of those who said they were driving less cited rising gas prices as the reason.

“For 13 out of 17 product and service categories tracked by the index, the share of nonpurchasers due to ‘sticker shock’ surpassed those who were willing to absorb price increases in June – an indication of just how widespread price sensitivity has become for consumers, ” the Morning Consult report stated.

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How to cut back on monthly expenses

As inflation rises, there are several steps Americans can take to cut back on their monthly expenses and better deal with higher prices. Here are a few:

Refinance your mortgage

Home prices have risen almost 20% annually and rising mortgage rates have also sparked concerns.

“While durables remained the most affected, services – which tend to be individually distinct and relatively more difficult to trade down on – had the largest jump in price sensitivity in the past month,” Morning Consult’s report stated. “Housing payments, most households’ single largest monthly expense, were among the most impacted service categories, with rising mortgage rates adding to affordability concerns.”

If you are looking at a higher monthly mortgage payment, refinancing can help you lower your costs. Visit Credible to get prequalified in minutes without affecting our credit score.

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Switch your auto insurance

The price of gas remains high, and even the cost of buying a new car is historically high. However, drivers can take other steps to help lower their car costs. For example, finding a new auto insurance provider can help potentially reduce your auto insurance premium payments.

Contact Credible to speak to an auto insurance expert and get all of your questions answered.

Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at moneyexpert@credible.com and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

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