The pandemic convinced Hispanic-Americans to take their safety seriously – along with financial preparedness.
According to a recent survey conducted by Debt.com en Español, US Latinos and Hispanics are spending more preparing for natural disasters in 2021 than they did in 2020. The reason for the change in financial habits: COVID-19.
The pandemic took everyone by surprise, revealing just how scary life can be when you are not prepared. Now, data finds that Hispanics are spending more than usual to prepare for the unexpected.
Financial preparedness post-COVID
As hurricane season continues and wildfires spread throughout the western US, climate change and natural disasters are on everyone’s minds. Like a global pandemic, natural disasters can be devastating and unpredictable.
Even with warnings, one can never know how bad a disaster might be. This is why preparing and planning ahead is crucial. Both businesses and families should have a plan in place for dealing with natural disasters and the aftermath.
US Hispanics and Latinos seem to have learned this lesson post-COVID. When Debt.com en Español polled more than 1,000 Hispanic and Latino Americans, 3 in 4 said they were either “spending a little more than usual” or “spending at least double” getting ready for hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, blizzards, and earthquakes. Only 1 in 4 said they were spending less than before and all said COVID-19 was directly responsible for their extra spending.
“Even during the pandemic, we saw how Americans were changing their spending and saving habits, often for the better,” says Debt.com chairman Howard Dvorkin, CPA. “Now we’re seeing how long that will last. At least in this one area, for this one year, it’s obvious: COVID-19 took such a terrible and sudden toll, no one wants to be caught unprepared again – for anything.”
Additionally, Debt.com en Espanol’s Natural Disaster Survey revealed that most Hispanic-Americans will also be paying more attention to government warnings. The survey showed that 85% said they will take government warnings more seriously and will prepare much better than they have in the past.
You might be interested: Damaris Diaz shares pandemic stories and how COVID has impacted the Latino community
Decrease in credit card spending
Survey data from Debt.com also revealed another interesting change in the past year: a decrease in credit card spending post-COVID. The pandemic has made people more aware of their spending and more concerned over accumulating debt.
Now, data shows Americans are charging less to their credit cards, and many believe the decrease in credit card spending will continue post-COVID, especially when it comes to approaching natural disasters.
Financial counselor Howard Dvorkin was particularly intrigued by two survey results. First, for those who have been through a natural disaster before, less than 26% needed to use their credit card to pay for their recovery efforts. Yet those who did need their credit card for recovery efforts spent a significant amount: More than 4 in 10 charged over $500 to a credit card.
“On the one hand, I’m encouraged that many people could get their lives back to normal without charging extra on their credit cards – because it’s a very expensive form of debt,” Dvorkin said. “On the other hand, I worry about those who charged $500 or more. I suspect some of them are still paying that off, since their interest rate could easily top 20 percent.”
As we move forward, post-pandemic it is important to remember the lessons learned. Financial preparedness will ensure families and businesses have the resources needed to recover whenever a disaster may strike.
ABOUT: Debt.com is the consumer website where people can find help with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, credit repair, bankruptcy, and more. Debt.com works with vetted and certified providers that give the best advice and solutions for consumers ‘when life happens.’