Survey Finds Less than Half of Americans are Putting Money into Savings

Survey Finds Less than Half of Americans are Putting Money into Savings
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February 23, 2016

A survey by a consumer advocate found that less than half of Americans are adding money to their piggy banks.

Commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), the survey revealed that only 40 percent of U.S. households reported good or excellent progress in meeting their savings needs. Additionally, less than half or about half of Americans are saving at least 5 percent of their income, saving enough for retirement, or have automatic savings outside of work.

The survey wasn't all bad news, however. Responses to other questions suggest that a good portion of Americans – 70 percent -- are making some progress toward meeting their savings needs. Sixty six percent reported saving at least some of their income and 63 percent reported sufficient savings for emergencies.

The survey also found a gender gap in how men and women responded to survey questions. Men tended to respond to questions more positively than women, with difference ranging from five to 13 percentage points. More men than women said they were making savings progress, spending less than their income and saving the rest, and saving at least five percent of their income.

"The most important reason for the gender gap in savings is differences in income and wealth," Stephen Brobeck, executive director of CFA and a founder of America Saves, said in a written statement. "The fact that men have larger incomes and financial assets than women makes it easier for them to save."

About half of survey respondents acknowledged that they weren't saving enough for retirement. Many cited debt or day-to-day expenses as their primary reason for not putting money aside. Those under 45 reported education-related debt as the major factor, while those over 45 cited day-to-day expenses and housing-related costs.

CFA released the survey results during the tenth annual America Saves Week. America Saves Week managed by CFA and coordinated by the American Savings Education Council (ASEC). The research firm ORC International interviewed about 1,000 adults between January 28-31 by landline and cell phone.

For more information about the survey results, visit the CFA website.