How do you plan to use your COVID-19 payment? Survey asks Japanese consumers

To help people cope with the fallout from the now lifted nationwide state-of-emergency, the Japanese government is making a one-time payment of ¥100,000 to every registered resident of Japan, including foreign nationals.

The mailing out of applications and actual transfer of money to people’s bank accounts has been plagued by numerous administrative hiccups, but people in larger cities, including Tokyo, have started to receive the paper application in the last few days. Some residents of smaller cities and towns have already received the actual payments.

MoneyForward, an automated personal financial management service, conducted a recent survey to ask people about their current psychological state with respect to their finances and how they plan to use the special payment.

Below we summarize the main takeaways from the survey.

“Are you worried about money?”

Question: Are you worried about money, due to the effects of the coronavirus?

In answer to this question, almost half of respondents said that the fallout from the coronavirus has caused them to worry about money.

N = 7,827

  • Yes — 48%
  • No — 38%
  • Neither — 14%

Question: What are you most worried about?

In response this question, the overwhelming majority of people said that they are worried about a decrease in income.

Question: Have you re-examined your expenses in order to worry less about money?

  • Yes — 53%
  • No — 29%
  • Neither — 18%

Question: What have you done in order to review your expenses?

With multiple answers allowed, the top two answers by a large margin were “cutting back on food expenses” (77%) and “cutting back on daily life expenses” (63%).

How do you plan to use the ¥100,000 special payment?

The top three answers to this question (where multiple answers were allowed) were:

  1. Living expenses (38%)
  2. Savings (25%)
  3. Travel and entertainment (post-living of the SOE) (19%)

Source: MoneyForward survey, May 15 to 18, 2020 (in Japanese). Internet-based survey of 7,828 users of the MoneyForward Me service.

Lead photo: Example of paper application form instructions for COVID-19 special payment


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