(NBC News) There’s a somewhat surprising effect the COVID-19 lockdown is having on many Americans, and some businesses couldn’t be happier.
Staying at home has unlocked the grip some people had on their spending habits.
“Surprisingly, Americans are spending more money during this time of social distancing than prior to it,” says WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.
WalletHub’s recent survey found a sizable chunk of the country is spending money to relieve stress.
“Forty-three percent of Americans are participating in what is called comfort buying,” Gonzalez says.
They’re buying not just what’s needed, but what they want.
It’s retail therapy that can break the boredom of a lockdown.
“Right now about 30 percent of us are spending the most on entertainment, that is your Netflix, Hulu, subscriptions to keep you occupied all day while we are at home,” Gonzalez notes.
Second on the list of non-essential spending is a soothing or stiff drink. Twenty-five percent of those surveyed admit they’re spending more on alcohol.
Meanwhile, nearly half say they’ve found stress relief by adopting or fostering a pet.