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America's savings a sign of the times
Most of us would like to save more money. A major obstacle is the cost of living.
Out of the red and into the black

Americans wish they could save more

Americans really want to save more money. The overwhelming majority (80 percent) say they do save money, but not as much as they would like because of the expenses of daily living. More than half (56 percent) say they save as much as possible because they're worried about tomorrow.

But fear doesn't motivate everyone to save, and in fact a rather casual attitude about saving prevails among some people. Two out of 10 Americans say they don't save much because they work too hard to scrimp on the things they really enjoy. And 14 percent say they don't really worry about saving. However, this number doubles to 30 percent among people who live by their words and actually don't save a portion of their salary each year.

Bankrate commissioned GfK Roper to conduct a random survey of Americans' attitudes about savings and debt as part of our Financial Literacy series. See our poll analysis on debt-related questions, released in February.

America's attitudes about savings
Percent who agree with each of the following statements. Total Those who earn less than $50K Those who earn $50K+ Those who save part of their income Those who do not save part of their income
You don't save much because you don't really worry about it 14% 18% 8% 10% 30%
You don't save much because you feel you work too hard to scrimp on the things you really enjoy 20% 28% 11% 18% 29%
You do save money, but not as much as you would like because of the expenses of daily living 80% 86% 78% 82% 82%
You save as much as possible because you're worried about tomorrow 56% 60% 51% 58% 50%

Christopher Viale, president and CEO of Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp., says he can understand that daily living expenses can stand in the way of saving for 80 percent of Americans. "With the skyrocketing costs of fossil fuels, combined with the 6 percent increase in food costs, people are definitely beginning to feel the crunch," he says.

-- Posted: March 17, 2008
 
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