Poll: Nearly 70% of Americans skipped recreation in past year due to cost

Aug. 14 (UPI) — Budget constraints were the main reason why more than 40 percent of Americans did not take a vacation in the last year, a survey said Wednesday.

The study by Bankrate and market research firm YouGov asked Americans which recreational activities they opted to skip due to cost in the past year. Most, 42 percent, said vacation with at least one overnight stay.

Twenty-eight percent said a vacation last year was less affordable than it was five years ago.

Half of respondents said recreational activities have been too expensive, and 43 percent said there wasn’t enough money left over to spend on recreation. Many cited credit card debt and student loans as contributing factors.

Overall, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they skipped some recreational activity in the past year due to cost.

The second-most skipped activity was attending a music concert or live arts event — and third was dining out. Other sacrifices included amusement parks, professional sports games and movies.

Consumer confidence is a major driver in Americans’ spending habits. About 40 percent said recently the domestic economy is “not so good” or “poor.”

“While the broad-based headlines on the economy have been positive for some time now, we know that the proverbial rising tide doesn’t lift all boats,” Bankrate senior analyst Mark Hamrick said.

About half of respondents said they would cut back on at least one form of technology — like television and video games — if local recreational activities were less expensive.

The survey found millennials were most likely to miss important life events due to money concerns, compared to “baby boomers.”

The poll is based on Internet responses from more than 2,500 American adults, Bankrate said.

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