‘Funflation’’: the new ‘carpe diem’?

The confinement in the wake of the pandemic and two and a half years of runaway inflation have changed our spending habits. Recent economic data shows that we have reduced spending on material goods, but, despite rising prices, we are spending more on leisure activities. This is known as ‘funflation’.


Agroflation, biflation, deflation, stagflation, hyperinflation… If you have managed to keep up with the endless repertoire of inflation-related terms that emerged in recent years, here is another one to add to your dictionary: ‘funflation’.

It is an economic concept that combines the apparent contradiction between fun and inflation to reflect a society that prefers to enjoy the present, going to bars, restaurants and hotels, despite rising prices. Although high inflation continues to erode household savings, people have reduced their spending on material goods but have not stopped spending on leisure activities, and tourism remains at record levels.

We find ourselves with new and not-so-new generations aware of the near impossibility of owning a home or having a salary that allows us to save money but convinced that life must be enjoyed.

More spending on restaurants, hotels, leisure, and culture

Data from the latest Household Budget Survey conducted by the National Statistics Institute (INE) show that the average expenditure per household was 32,617 euros in 2023, an increase of 3.8% over the previous year.

The sectors where the average expenditure per household increased the most were restaurants and hotels, leisure and culture. Specifically, 3,331 euros were spent per household on restaurants and accommodation services, 386 more than in 2022, representing 13.2% of expenditure. While in leisure and culture, the biggest increase was in package holidays, with an average total expenditure per household of €1,651, 138 more than in 2022.

According to Business Insider, the economic data shows that spending on restaurants and leisure has increased, while buying material goods has decreased. Pedro Rey, professor at ESADE’s Department of Economics, specialising in behavioural economics, explained to the business publication that the difference lies in the fact that experience is now prioritised more, to the detriment of other items, such as clothes, household appliances or cars, the price of which is high in lean times.

The trend is to enjoy the present and life’s pleasures as if the world is coming to an end. After the shock of the confinement and the subsequent crises that have followed the sanitary crisis, it is not surprising that many consumers prioritise their mental well-being and social interaction over financial security.


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