The majority of Americans are delaying financial milestones and even forgoing certain events and activities due to the current economic situation.
According to a new survey from Bankrate, 53% of Americans need to delay milestones such as home improvements and repairs as well as buying or leasing a car.
Meanwhile, 58% of Americans had to miss out on some activities such as postponing vacations and opting out of dinners with family or friends.
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The data revealed that 15% of respondents had to stop buying a house, while 10% had to push to continue their education. Nine percent are postponing retirement, 7% are postponing career advancement and 7% are even postponing marriage. In addition, another 7% are pushing to have children.
Economic stress has even caused people to put off small activities, anything from going to amusement parks, aquariums, movie theaters or attending a live arts or professional sports event.
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“Whether it’s inflation, rising interest rates, fears of a recession, market volatility, or similar, concerns about the economy are high,” said Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride.
In October, consumer prices rose 7.7% from a year earlier and 0.4% from September, according to government data. Although the year-over-year increase, up from 8.2% in September, was the smallest increase since January, prices remained high as the Federal Reserve continued to fight inflation.
Mortgage rates also exceeded 7% for the second time in the past few weeks – a high not seen in more than two decades. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported last week that the average key 30-year rate rose to 7.08%. A year ago the average rate was 2.98%.
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As a result, sales of new homes fell in September as high home prices and borrowing rates scared off prospective buyers.
Fifty-seven percent of people said that the economic situation had a negative impact on their quality of life in the past year. Only about one in eight people said the effect was positive, according to the survey.
Those who say their lives have been negatively impacted are more likely to have delayed a financial milestone compared to those who say their lives have been positively impacted or not impacted at all, according to Bankrate.
Of all the generations, millennials, who are between 26 and 41 years old, are the most likely to have missed at least one milestone.
The data also shows that 58% of higher-income households, earning an annual income of $100,000 or more, are likely to have delayed at least one financial milestone. That compares to 55% of households earning between $50,000-$99,999 who are behind on at least one financial milestone and 54% of households earning less than $50,000 per year.
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Although travel has soared with full flights and sold-out hotels, McBride questioned whether the surge could have been stronger if more people had not delayed their plans.
“More than 1 in 3 (37%) Americans did not take a vacation last year because of economic conditions,” he said. “This is likely to be the first discretionary spending to be cut when households are concerned about the economic path forward.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.