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Q2 State of Personal Finance Study by Ramsey Solutions Finds Americans Adjusting Their Spending Habits

AUGUST 5, 2021


August 9, 2021

Q2 State of Personal Finance Study by Ramsey Solutions Finds Americans Adjusting Their Spending Habits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As Americans regained some normalcy over the summer, a new study finds consumers feeling like they’re better off financially than they were this time last year but still hesitant to ramp up their spending. Ramsey Solutions’ Q2 State of Personal Finance Study finds that external factors like inflation, child tax credit payments and the booming seller’s real estate market are the top money topics on people’s minds.

The study reveals that half of qualifying parents understand what the child tax credit means for their situation, but seven in 10 qualifying parents are afraid to spend it because they don’t know how it will impact income taxes when they file next year. The uncertainty to spend child tax credit money reflects a larger spending hesitancy among Americans—82% of people report they are still being very cautious with their spending, even though many things are returning to normal.

“I think the pandemic was a financial wake-up call for a lot of people,” said Rachel Cruze, personal finance expert and two-time #1 national bestselling author. “How people save and spend money has changed, and while they can’t always control how money flows in, they are being more intentional on how they let it flow back out, and we’re certainly seeing that with the child tax credits.” 

Most people are also experiencing the impact of inflation. Eight in 10 say they feel like their money doesn’t buy as much as it used to, and three in four people noticed higher prices in the last three months for the things they normally buy. To adjust to higher costs, buying habits have shifted. The top solution (38%) was to search for sales or coupons before buying, while 32% reported buying less than they normally would because of inflation, and 29% said they delayed a purchase because of the inflated cost.

Other key findings:

  • Among those who are married, 41% say they often fight with their spouse when they talk about money.
  • 31% of those who are married say they have a credit card their spouse doesn’t know about.
  • 31% of those who are married say they have debt their spouse doesn’t know about.
  • 38% of qualifying parents say they will save their child tax credit payments, 35% say they will use it to pay bills, 28% say they will invest the payments for their child’s future, and 27% will spend the payments on necessities for their child or family.
  • Six in 10 people say now that many parts of the country are returning to pre-pandemic life, they are ready to spend money to treat themselves.
  • Of those who bought a house in the last three months, 60% report paying more than the asking price for their house.
  • 74% of people said they would waive the home inspection and appraisal in the next three months.

Read the full study at:


About The Q2 State of Personal Finance Study

The State of Personal Finance Study is a quarterly research study conducted by Ramsey Solutions with 1,004 U.S. adults to gain an understanding of the personal finance behaviors and attitudes of Americans. The nationally representative sample was fielded June 22, 2021, to June 29, 2021, using a third-party research panel.

About Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions is committed to empowering people in the areas of money, business, leadership and personal development using Biblically based, commonsense principles and education. Every day, Ramsey Solutions reaches millions with nationally syndicated radio shows and columns, #1 national bestselling books, products and courses, and industry-renowned podcasts and video channels. Ramsey Solutions’ world-class speakers and authors give inspiration, practical advice and hope to audiences across the country. Ramsey Solutions and its team of more than 1,000 are dedicated to doing work that matters. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Megan McConnell