HOUSTON, United States – Eighty-five percent of Americans said inflation has impacted their recent spending and buying habits, according to a new survey released this week.
 
According to a poll taken by 1,000 working professionals by the online technology platform Bluecrew, inflation, which continues to hover between 8 percent to 9 percent in the US, is hurting American wallets.
 
"We have less money to spend on non-necessities and try to stretch our money as much as possible," Houston resident Ruth Pilarte told Anadolu Agency. "For example, we stretch visits to the groomers for our dogs."
 
With prices of everyday goods and services spiking since the beginning of 2022, many Americans are seeing prices of everything from groceries to gas skyrocketing and that pinch is being felt in their pockets.
 
"Prices of groceries have almost doubled," said Pilarte, who is married and has one daughter. "For instance, where we used to pay $250, we now pay $325 or more."
 
Because of the sticker shock, Americans like Pilarte are now changing the way they shop and spend their hard-earned money.
 
"We no longer have brand loyalty," added Pilarte. "We purchase more of what we need versus what we want. There is more 'strategy' to our buying."
 
"I think inflation has impacted everyone in many different ways depending on your income level," said Houston resident Noe Bonilla who is married and has three children. "Inflation doesn’t discriminate at all. In our family it hits home with the cost of food."
 
Bonilla agrees that gas, groceries and every other necessity are getting more expensive, but instead of looking at inflation as a negative, he has decided to look at the glass half full.
 
"To be honest, we have seen a positive on how inflation changed our spending habits," Bonilla told Anadolu Agency. "We make sure our needs are met first. We used to spend on 'things or stuff' -- not anymore. It’s been a great feeling in that point of view."
 
Looking for 2nd sources of income
 
According to the survey, 72 percent of Americans said that inflation has also impacted the way they view their job.
 
"I am a freelancer and have seen a drastic change in the amount of work coming my way," said Pilarte. "I was recently laid off from two primary sources of income."
 
Sixty-five percent of respondents said that they foresee themselves looking for new opportunities in the coming months and into 2023 to continue to combat rising inflation, which means they are now looking for the right job with the appropriate salary that they can live with.
 
"Finding enough work to pay for our rent and bills," added Pilarte.
 
The poll also showed that 57 percent of Americans said they have sought out new or additional roles over the past year due to the rising cost of living and nearly 50 percent said they actively seek out additional work seasonally.
 
"Personally, I think it’s a great idea to have another avenue of income," said Bonilla. "You never know, you might master that work that could lead to a higher income and inflation might never be an issue again. Worst case scenario you will have a spare tire on your income. Remember, you have a spare in your car. Why? Just in case."
 
The survey also pointed out that while workers seek additional income to fill the gaps created by inflation and the downturn in the economy, happiness on the job continues to be of "paramount importance."
 
Seventy-eight percent said their employer's interest in their happiness impacted their work, specifically the effort they're willing to put forth, and 63 percent said they would be more willing to leave a job they don’t love than they may have pre-pandemic.
 
"Yes, I am pickier on the job offers I accept since I need more money to make ends meet than before," said Pilarte.
 
With the days of gas prices at two dollars per gallon behind us and the reality of three or four dollars per gallon prices here to stay, many Americans are worried about how they will make ends meet.
 
"I think it will get worse before it gets better," said Pilarte. "I think change is coming, but I am unsure how it will play out."
 
However, the US economy is cyclical and many Americans believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel despite being blindsided by the dramatic rise in the current inflation rate.
 
"I do believe there is a relief in the future, hopefully within the next 6-18 months, sooner of course would be better," said Bonilla. "I do believe food prices will probably take longer to come down because of supply and demand." (Anadolu)