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Inflation Threat: Americans Delay Purchases and Miss Payments as Prices Rise

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – (September 8, 2022) – TextNow, the leading mobile app offering free cellular and WiFi-enabled phone service, released today the results of its survey, Inflation Threat: The Five Priorities to Understanding American Spending in 2022. The survey polled American adults about the ways rising prices are creating financial and mental burdens, which bill payments are being prioritized, and which purchases are being delayed. As the first-of-its-kind in free unlimited calling and texting for everyone, TextNow wanted to shed light on how Americans are making spending decisions amid an uncertain economic backdrop.

“With the challenges facing consumers today, many Americans are feeling anxious and they are telling us it’s affecting their spending decisions,” said Derek Ting, co-founder and CEO of TextNow. “As part of our mission to democratize phone service for everyone, we have close relationships with the group most affected by inflation and we’ve found actionable ways for brands to help relieve the pressure consumers are facing.”

TextNow’s report revealed five key insights for brands looking to reach consumers amid shifting spending priorities:

1: The bills are too damn high
Worried Americans are anxious about the current economic situation and have delayed purchases and/or fallen short on bills.

  • 55% are nervous about the current economic situation
  • 72% say the economic environment affects what they spend money on
  • 56% have changed how they save money
  • 77% have delayed purchasing at least one item
  • 25% have been late or missed a payment on their home utilities (18%) or credit card (16%) as they have for their phone bill (17%) due to their financial circumstances.

2: It’s not just about money, it’s about mental health
The anticipation of being able to pay bills is weighing heavily on consumers, impacting their daily lives and mental health.

  • 49% of respondents claim that the current economic condition has negatively affected their lives, with the main areas affected being:
  • Mental health: 34% (overall), 48%(Gen Z), 45% (Millennials)
  • Self-esteem: 18% (overall), 32% (Gen Z), 24% (Millennials)
  • Relationships with friends and family: 17% (overall), 30% (Gen Z), 24% (Millennials)

3: Premium products are the first to go
Americans are reassessing the way they shop, abandoning premium items, organic foods, and expensive new tech.

  • 45% eliminating premium products
  • 27% eliminating organic products
  • 48% of Women eliminating premium + organic products
  • 41% of Men eliminating premium + organic products
  • 32 % of Millennials eliminating premium + organic products
  • Percentage of Americans putting off the following larger purchases:
  • A new smartphone (39%), a car (32%), furniture (25%), a plane ticket (21%), a home (18%)

4: We remain attached to our phones but are open to reassessing phone plans
Americans are physically connected to their cell phones and prioritize them over other amenities, but most consumers (56%) are open to alternative solutions to their current providers if it means saving money.

  • Our phone is with us 73% of the day
  • 23% of consumers report their phone is always with them
  • Consumer would rather give up another amenity over their phone: 85% (overall), 94% (Gen Z), 86% (Millennials)
  • Consumers have complained of these Issues with providers:
  • Too expensive (24%), restrictive / long-term contract (16%), slow internet (12%), not enough data (12%), bad service (10%)

5: Brands should cater to the consumer
Many consumers look to brands to improve their shopping experience and cater to their preferences, marrying necessity to practicality. Consumers are hoping for:

  • Lower prices: 80%
  • More discounts: 67%
  • Better loyalty programs: 39%
  • A higher level of customer service: 28%
  • Easier online shopping experiences: 23%
  • Better delivery services: 17%

The full report and a visual breakdown can be downloaded from the TextNow website at the provided links.

Survey respondents included 1,006 adults ages 18+ in the United States and was conducted in August of 2022 through an online survey by survey platform Material+. To learn more about TextNow and the Inflation Threat: Five Priorities to Understanding American Spending in 2022 survey, please see a visual report and infographic. For more information about TextNow, please visit and follow @TextNow on all social channels.


TextNow is democratizing phone service by providing users with a free phone number and unlimited calling, texting, and video calling over WiFi and on a nationwide wireless network. Founded in 2009, TextNow is the largest provider of free mobile phone service in the US, supported by advertising. We have offices in San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Waterloo, Ontario and our app has been downloaded more than 250 million times globally. Our phone service helps more than 10 million people connect freely every month. For more information visit, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


Nick de Pass

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