(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.