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
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.
Saving money versus paying off debt
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