Nearly 70% of Americans Delayed Big Purchases in 2022 — Why 2023 Could be Different

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The effects of inflation — including higher grocery tabs, higher cooling and heating bills and higher prices at the pump — put many Americans at a financial disadvantage this year. In fact, nearly 70% of Americans put off making big purchases in 2022 due to economic strain, according to a recent GOBankingRates survey.

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Many Americans are hoping that things will change in the coming year, though. Read on to find out what Americans delayed spending on in 2022 and what they plan to spend on in 2023, as well as whether next year’s economy will be easier on consumer’s wallets. 

What Did Americans Delay Spending on in 2022?

In mid-November, we asked 1,028 Americans aged 18 and older the question, “Did you put off a big purchase in 2022 due to the strained economy?” Here were their responses. 

A little over one-third of respondents, or 31.81%, replied that the economy did not stop them from spending in 2022, while 22.57% said that they did delay an undisclosed big purchase due to unfavorable economic conditions. 

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The remainder of the respondents were more specific. A little more than 18% of respondents stated that they delayed buying a car, while 11.87% said they opted not to go on a big vacation. Slightly more than 11% of respondents put off buying a home due to economic woes, while approximately 8% postponed their wedding.

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What Are Americans Looking Forward to in 2023?

Although the strain of the economy did influence the spending of many Americans, they are looking forward to change in 2023, including change related to their financial goals. 

When survey respondents were asked, “Which best describes your top financial goal for 2023?” the top three answers were: save more money, make more money and get out of debt. 

In an attempt to look ahead, survey respondents were asked if they were planning for any of these major milestones in 2023 and were encouraged to select all that applied:

  • Buying a home
  • Buying a car
  • Retiring
  • Paying for a wedding
  • Expanding my family
  • Taking an expensive vacation
  • Other

Approximately 40% of respondents said they were planning to buy a car in 2023, which is more than double the percentage that said they delayed their purchase — around 18% — in 2022. 

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Almost 29% said they were planning to spend on an undisclosed major milestone in 2023, while around 26% are planning to spend money on an expensive vacation in the upcoming year. This is more than double the percentage of respondents who said they opted not to take a big vacation in 2022.

As for buying a home, 23.64% of respondents are planning to do so in 2023, which is also more than double the percentage of people who delayed buying a home in 2022. 

Approximately 8% of respondents plan to pay for a wedding in the coming year, which is approximately the same percentage of respondents who said they postponed their wedding due to the economic strain. 

Additionally, some respondents are also planning for major milestones unrelated to a purchase but that will still affect them financially. A little more than 13% of survey respondents are interested in expanding their families in 2023, and 7.6% of respondents said they are planning to retire in 2023.

Will 2023 Be Different in Terms of Inflation and Spending?

Inflation has been falling for the past five months, with the Consumer Price Index as its lowest in nearly a year. But will that trend continue, and how low will inflation go in 2023?

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Economists and other financial experts are hopeful that inflation will continue to decrease, but agree it will take time.

“It will take a couple of years before inflation returns to the Fed’s 2% goal,” Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said in October. “But I do expect to see meaningful progress over the next year.”

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 15 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle and The Seattle Times. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
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