Survey Shows Americans Believe Economy Is Improving But Still Look To Save

What's Next In Payments®
5:20 PM EST September 20th, 2012

According to a new Chase survey, 64 percent of Americans believe the economy has either bottomed out or is improving, and 65 percent believe the same to be true for their personal finance.

That news is interesting in and of itself, but what does that mean for America’s spending and saving habits?

The aforementioned statistics are up from 33 percent and 56 percent a year ago, respectively, which would lead one to believe Americans may feel increasingly comfortable spending their money. takes a look at the survey to determine if that’s the case, and unearth some interesting stats about how Americans respond to their deepest financial concerns.

Spending Less Now …
Over half (53 percent) of those surveyed said they worry about saving money on everyday purchases, and 78 percent say now spend less on everyday items. Fifty-four percent have created a daily budget, and 45 percent said they’re financially motivated to get the most bang for their buck. Interestingly, only 40 percent said they’re worried about paying monthly bills.

… To Spend Big Later
What are Americans planning on doing with all the money they’re trying to save? Sixty-one percent said they’re planning on making a major purchase, with a new car (38 percent), dream vacation (24 percent) and home or condo (20 percent) the most frequent targets. Such numbers represent an 11 percent increase in potential car buyers and a 13 percent increase in would-be homeowners from five years ago.

Concern ≠ Action
It seems as though the feelings and actions of those surveyed are at odds. Seventy-four percent of Americans said they’re concerned about having enough money in savings, but only 36 percent actually placed any money into savings since the downturn. Similarly, 64 percent said their main concern is saving for retirement, but only 34 percent added to retirement funds.

Technology As A Financial Tool
It seems people are finding this Internet thing to be pretty useful. The survey said 70 percent of Americans find online banking or credit card sites to be useful personal finance management tools. Demographically, the 18-34 range is most likely to list online services as their “most valuable” budget tool, as are 71 percent of those ages 45-54 and 62 percent of consumers ages 35-44.

To see more numbers from the Chase survey, read here.

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