Banking Blog

Finance Blogs » Banking Blog » Greg McBride: Clutching our wallets
Greg McBride

Greg McBride: Clutching our wallets

By Greg McBride ·
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Posted: 6 am ET

A majority of Americans are holding back on their monthly spending. Do you know why? Chances are, you do.

More than 6 in 10 keep a lid on spending

A recent poll found that 62% of Americans are limiting their spending each month. That's somewhat improved from the 66% who were holding their purse strings tight when we asked the same question last year, and the 72% who were in 2013. But still, with so many Americans still holding back on spending, it helps to explain why we continue to have a slow-growth economy.

When asked for the reasons to be limiting spending, the most cited reason is stagnant household income, at 28%. This answer was most common among baby boomers, who cited it by a nearly 2-to-1 margin over anything else. The growth in U.S. wages has been lackluster, though the government's most recent report showed some long-awaited improvement.


Many would like to save more

The second most common reason to tamp down spending was the need to save more money, at 25%. This was cited by millennials more than any other reason for tightfistedness. Millennials named this their No. 1 reason by a 3-to-1 margin over anything else.

Those at the opposite end of the age scale -- retirement-age respondents 65 and older -- were the least likely to say that they're curbing spending, while pre-retirees between 50 and 64 were the most likely.

Overall, stagnant income and the need to save more money were the 2 most common reasons for keeping spending in check, for the 3rd consecutive year.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.