Poll: Americans say they'd rather save than spend

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Almost twice as many Americans polled say they enjoy saving money than say they enjoy spending it, a trend that has increased for the third year running in the Gallup Economy and Personal Finance Poll , which has been conducted since 2001.

In the survey, conducted April 3-6, 2014, 62 percent of Americans polled said they preferred saving; 34 percent preferred spending. That continues the divergence that took hold after the Great Recession. Before the recession, spending and saving were closely matched desires, with saving ahead by a nose, 50 percent to 45 percent. The spread widened dramatically after the recession, from 5 percentage points to 28.

Residents from the South were the most likely to prefer saving, at 73 percent; least likely were Westerners, with 51 percent. Also, people making less than $20,000 were most likely to want to save, also at 73 percent. The closest income range was at $75,000 or more, with 63 percent of those people preferring to save.

While Americans consistently say they enjoy savings, they do little of it, other data show. Personal savings as a percentage of disposable income was just 4.3 percent in February 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis .

Gallup conducted its survey by telephone, with 1,026 people 18 and older interviewed in all U.S. states and Washington, D.C. Its margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

See related: Saving money versus paying off debt , More infographics

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This article appears in: Personal Finance , Credit and Debt

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