But the lease only lasts one year, and Clark worries that he won’t be able to find a place to live unless he renews. She recently lost her car keys and had to spend nearly $500 to replace her keys. With this, she wiped out nearly all of her small just in case fund and escaped one crisis financial disaster.
“When you don’t have money, you have a fixed income and you’re constantly thinking, ‘Well, maybe I shouldn’t have bought that,'” she said. did.”
Of course, more financially stable families also face headwinds that may ultimately delay spending. Cash saved during the pandemic won’t last forever, and rising prices may cause many households to hold back on spending.
A stock market plunge could also encourage wealthy families, who tend to invest more money, to spend less than they otherwise would. Some economists believe that people in this demographic are eager to take deferred vacations early in the pandemic, which is why they have continued to spend recently despite declining economic confidence. increase.
“My budget is to make room for travel,” said Trevino of Los Angeles. “I feel like I missed it a little bit.”
Economists speculate wealthy consumers’ resilience may wane as fall approaches, and they’re on the cusp of their finances amid a slowing economy. But for now, the reality that wealthier consumers in the United States have yet to retreat sharply in the face of rising prices could set a tough road ahead for the country’s poorer consumers.
“In some ways, we don’t really notice inflation,” Schoenfeld said. “This economy is very unfair.”
Jason Callian contributed to the report.