Survey: Only Half of Americans Have Good Savings Habits

Survey: Only Half of Americans Have Good Savings Habits
Image: Pixabay

Released as a part of America Saves Week, the sixth annual national survey assessing household financial savings revealed that only about half of Americans have good savings habits.

While nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) reported they "have sufficient emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses like car repairs or a doctor visit," only 49% of the non-retired said they are "saving enough for a retirement in which you will have a desirable standard of living."

  • 54% said they "have a savings plan with specific goals."
  • 43% said they "have a spending plan that allows you to save enough money to achieve the goals of your saving plan."
  • 50% of those not retired said they "save for retirement at work through a 401(k) or other contributory plan."
  • 41% said that, "outside of work," they "save automatically through regular preauthorized transfers from checking to savings or investments."
  • 49% know their net worth.

The survey also revealed no improvement in the reported financial condition of families over the past year. From 2010 to 2012, there was a steady decline in key savings indicators.

While there was no significant deterioration between February 2012 and February 2013 in these indicators, there was also no improvement – spending less than income and saving the difference (66% in 2012 and 65% in 2013, having sufficient emergency savings (66% and 65%), and among the non-retired, saving enough for retirement (51% and 49%).

The survey was released the first day of America Saves Week, an annual event where government, business, and nonprofit organizations at the national, state, and local levels work together to promote good financial savings behavior.

America Saves, managed by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), managed by EBRI, coordinate this annual effort.