smart spending

Gas prices causing cut backs



(Begin VIDEO with Kristin Arnold, anchor introducing the video topic)

Kristin Arnold: Are rising gasoline prices causing you to cut back on other spending? If so, you're not alone according to a new poll from Here with details on how gasoline prices are impacting the pocketbooks of Americans, and how we're feeling about our financial security is Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with

(Cut to a double screen of Kristin Arnold and Greg McBride)

Kristin: Are gasoline prices having an impact on how we spend?

Greg: They definitely are. 63% of Americans say they've cut back on non-essential spending. That's things like vacations and dining out since the beginning of the year, specifically because of higher gasoline prices. And it's even higher at 72% for households with below average income. Among retirees and those living in rural communities, two out of three say they too have cut back.

Kristin: What is the economic impact of this?

Greg: The more money that goes into the gas tank is less money that's being spent someplace else. The economy is 70% powered by consumer spending, so where and how much we spend is really critical to economic health.

Kristin: Now, in terms of overall financial security, are Americans feeling any better in May?

Greg: Yeah, actually they are and I think that's largely on the back of the April jobs report, which came out at the beginning of May. Of course, April was the low point of the year…we did see a nice pick-up in not only feelings of job security but the other components as well. So, although we've equaled the high point for the year, people are still feeling a little bit less secure than they were 12 months ago.

(Cut to one shot of Kristin on camera)

Kristin: Ok, thanks Greg ... much better news than in April. For more on Bankrate's Financial Security Index, visit I'm Kristin Arnold.


Click here to read Bankrate’s May 2011 Financial Security Index.



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