Skip to main content
Back to Press & News
Financial Innovation October 25, 2022

Inflation Forcing 9 in 10 U.S. Consumers to Adjust Spending Habits, Study Finds

New Bread Financial study highlights consumer trends and sentiment around inflation as well as the new “average” shopper and evolving digital habits ahead of upcoming holiday season

COLUMBUS, Ohio – October 25, 2022Bread Financial (NYSE: BFH), a tech-forward financial services company that provides simple, flexible payment, lending and saving solutions, today released a new study that showcases the many ways consumers shop, pay and engage with their favorite brands in a post-pandemic economy. The State of the American Shopper creates a modern baseline for retailers to better understand today’s average consumer.  

As more Americans feel the pinch of inflation, 92% of U.S. consumers have made significant adjustments to their financial habits, including prioritizing convenience and cost-savings, the report found. The top changes consumers are making include: focusing on spending less overall (43%), cutting back on non-essentials (42%), making fewer trips to the store (37%), shopping for sales/promotions (36%) and buying store brand or generic products (35%).

The study also found that despite 40% of consumers reporting they are spending more this year, two-thirds (70%) are fairly to very confident that they are on the right track financially, indicating confidence in the adjustments they are making to their spending and saving habits.

Additional noteworthy findings from the report include:

  • Meet the new “average” shopper: According to the study, today’s average consumer is a 38-year-old female millennial who lives in the suburbs and has a household income of $67,521. 
  • Life stage impacts inflation adjustments and economic outlook:  The study found parents and students are most focused on increasing their savings (51% and 60%, respectively), however retirees are prioritizing staying current on bills and living expenses, with almost seven out of 10 (67%) citing it as a top concern. Meanwhile, younger adults and parents are generally more optimistic about the economy – with 60% rating it as good  to excellent – whereas only 32% of retirees had the same outlook.
  • Cash is king among younger generations, but credit remains strong with Boomers: Sixty-seven percent of students said cash was the top way they plan to pay for purchases under $500, compared to 57% of retirees. When it came to purchases over $500, credit was the top payment method for the retiree population (46%), compared to 32% of students. 
  • E-commerce and mobile continue to pick up traction: 87% of consumers across all demographics shop digitally at least some of the time, with nearly 60% saying they shop online half of the time or more. Digital marketplaces like Amazon and Ebay are still the top destination for shoppers, but consumers are also shopping directly from retailers online.

With inflation maintaining at elevated levels, retailers are adjusting their marketing and promotions going into holiday. The data reported in our study uncovered actionable opportunities for retailers to reach today’s consumers, including offering multiple payment options and meeting customers where they are in their shopping journey. Inflation and a potential recession will continue to weigh on consumers’ minds and therefore wallets, so brands should focus on tailoring their messaging to a value-driven customer base and ensure their payment options match their customers’ needs.

Val Greer, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer at Bread Financial

To access the full State of the American Shopper report, visit: 

Study Methodology
Bread Financial conducted a two-phased approach to produce the State of American Shopper study. Quantitative research was driven by a survey of more than 5,000 American shoppers in Q3 2022 to analyze and validate shopping habits based on life-stage including students, parents, singles and retirees based on preliminary guidelines. 


About Bread Financial
Bread Financial™ (NYSE: BFH) is a tech-forward financial services company providing simple, personalized payment, lending and saving solutions. The company creates opportunities for its customers and partners through digitally enabled choices that offer ease, empowerment, financial flexibility and exceptional customer experiences. Driven by a digital-first approach, data insights and white-label technology, Bread Financial delivers growth for its partners through a comprehensive product suite, including private label and co-brand credit cards, installment lending, and buy now, pay later (BNPL). Bread Financial also offers direct-to-consumer solutions that give customers more access, choice and freedom through its branded Bread Cashback™ American Express® Credit Card and Bread Savings™ products. 

Bread Financial is an S&P MidCap 400 company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and committed to sustainable business practices powered by its 6,000+ global associates. To learn more about Bread Financial, visit or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements give our expectations or forecasts of future events and can generally be identified by the use of words such as "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "project," "plan," "likely," "may," "should" or other words or phrases of similar import. Similarly, statements that describe our business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals also are forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements we make regarding, and the guidance we give with respect to, our anticipated operating or financial results, future financial performance and outlook, initiation or completion of strategic initiatives, including the ability to realize the intended benefits of the spinoff of our former LoyaltyOne® segment, future dividend declarations, future economic conditions, including, but not limited to, market conditions, persistent inflation, rising interest rates, the increased probability of a recession and related impacts on consumer behavior, future legislative or regulatory actions that could have impact on our business and results of operations, including any such actions that may be taken with respect to late fees or other charges, developments in the geopolitical environment, including the war in Ukraine, and the ongoing effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, all of which factors remain difficult to predict. 

We believe that our expectations are based on reasonable assumptions. Forward-looking statements, however, are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, anticipated results or other expectations expressed in this release, and no assurances can be given that our expectations will prove to have been correct. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, factors set forth in the Risk Factors section in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year, which may be updated in Item 1A of, or elsewhere in, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed for periods subsequent to such Form 10-K. Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and we undertake no obligation, other than as required by applicable law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events, anticipated or unanticipated circumstances or otherwise.