How Has the Pandemic Changed Your Spending Habits?

(Bloomberg Opinion) — One of the few bright spots in a very challenging year has been the monthly emails from my budgeting app showing huge declines in my spending. I can’t take much credit for the drops, given all the Covid-19 restrictions and risks that have prevented my family from spending at usual capacity. But still, it’s nice to see something moving in the right direction.

The app says we’ve been saving between $2,000 to $3,500 each month since March. And compared to the same period in 2019, our credit-card balances are down 25% to 30%, led by a complete halt in travel, dining out and my thrice-annual hair-color appointments. 

This echoes some of the broader spending trends in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, categories like clothing, recreation and food services experienced rapid declines in the second quarter of 2020, compared with previous quarters. 

Some of

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Five ways Hong Kong has changed under China’s security law

Hong Kong (AFP) – Beijing’s new national security law for Hong Kong is the most radical shift in how the semi-autonomous city is run since it was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.

China’s authoritarian leaders say the powers will restore stability after a year of pro-democracy protests and will not stifle freedoms.

But it has already sent fear coursing through a city used to being able to speak openly and fundamentally altered the city’s relationship to both Beijing and the outside world.

– Legal firewall toppled –

A key pillar of Hong Kong’s success has been an independent judiciary, insulated from mainland China’s party-controlled courts and their conviction rates of around 99 percent.

That legal firewall has now come down.

The law grants China jurisdiction in some national security cases and allows mainland security agents to set up shop openly in the city for the first time.

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How the Pandemic Changed the Way Americans Spend Their Money

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown millions of Americans into chaos, negatively affecting financial well-being alongside physical and mental health. As unemployment rates soar and money insecurities abound, a new NerdWallet survey finds almost half of Americans (48 percent) are indeed feeling less confident about their personal finances due to COVID-19.

In a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults commissioned by NerdWallet and conducted online by The Harris Poll, we asked Americans how COVID-19 is affecting their finances—including spending and saving habits, feelings about homebuying and investing, and money plans for the end of the pandemic.

Key findings

  • Income impact: Close to 7 in 10 Americans (69 percent) say their household income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, including 80 percent each of millennials (ages 24-39) and Gen Zers (ages 18-23).

  • Stimulus saving: More than one-third of Americans (36 percent) plan to use/have used their stimulus check to save and/or

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