I received a press release today about a national survey of U.S. adults of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. The survey focused on how spending and saving habits have been changed by our economic turmoil and whether those changes are expected to be permanent or temporary. The results were interesting and hopeful.
< The essential findings of the survey were that 63 percent of Americans say that the way they spend and save has been permanently altered by our economic downturn. Conversely, only 29 percent said that their spending and saving would revert back to the way it was before the recession hit.
The answers to the more specific survey questions about current spending and saving habits were compelling:
- 75% of survey participants have cut back their everyday expenses.
- 62% have reduced credit card purchases.
- 57% have reduced their level of debt.
- 53% have delayed purchasing a major item such as an automobile.
- 42% are using savings or investments to pay expenses. (Ouch!)
- 34% are saving and investing more. (Yes!)
These same folks were asked similar questions about their future spending and saving plans:
- 59% will continue to reduce everyday expenses.
- 60% will continue to save and invest more.
- 61% will continue to pare back their credit card purchases.
- 63% will continue to reduce the amount of money they owe.
In the past, we baby boomers have been criticized for our spendthrift ways and making ourselves unprepared for retirement.
I hope that these survey findings apply to us. In fact, I hope that baby boomers are even more determined than ever to maintain better spending and saving habits. We don’t have as much time to recover from the economic damage. Therefore, our level of diligence should be increased to compensate.
What about you? Have your spending and saving habits permanently changed for the better?