A growing number of Americans now say that building a healthy savings account is their priority. As household wealth declines and the cost of living goes up, more consumers said they are less concerned with their short-term financial situations and more focused on amassing enough savings to improve their future prospects.
The results come from the annual Chase Pulse of the Consumer Survey, in which Americans appeared to take a slightly more optimistic view of the economy and their personal financial standings than one year ago. However, nearly three-quarters of respondents said that their ability to put money away in a traditional savings account is still worrisome. Despite the high number of participants who voiced this concern, only 36 percent have put money into a savings account since the economy fell apart.
Another 64 percent said that amassing enough wealth for retirement was a significant savings goal. However, only 34 percent reported contributing to their nest eggs during this same period. When asked about their ability to cover credit card debt, mortgage and rent costs, 40 percent expressed concerns about meeting these obligations.
“We’re encouraged that consumers think the economy and their personal finances are on the upswing, but there is still work to be done,” said Eileen Serra, CEO of Chase Card Services.”Consumers continue to need the correct financial tools and services to better manage their everyday expenses – that is a critical first step to gaining full control over their financial future.”
Americans’ renewed interest in padding their savings accounts is a positive step forward for many households. However, finding ways to stretch income can be challenging, which can make consulting a credit counselor and relying on money management resources can be helpful. For example, downsizing current expenses, including bills, vehicles and even homes can be an effective way consumers can maximize their paychecks. In addition, placing money in a high-yield savings account, certificate of deposit or money market fund can also provide individuals with a low-risk way to earn interest.
Lastly, budgeting for savings is a crucial element in sticking to a consistent savings plan. Making decisions about how much to save each pay period and organizing spending around this amount can help consumers better manage their finances and allocate their income appropriately.