New analysis divides Americans into 4 groups based on saving sentiments.
Each week, Consolidated Credit searches for financial research that can help you deal with your debt and budget. This week…
The interesting study
The CFP (Certified Financial Planners) Board conducted a national survey about Americans’ feelings about personal savings. The study essentially assigns people to a class of savers based on how you look at and approach saving.
The big result
By and large all Americans feel like saving is extremely important or very important, but we diverge in our ability – or perceived ability – to save money.
- Confident Savers make up 22% of the country. They are optimistic, secure and generally happy with their efforts when it comes to saving.
- Concerned Strivers represent 27% of the people in the U.S. They are generally optimistic about their ability to save, although they’re still working to achieve results.
- Tentative Savers make up 24% of the country and while they’re optimistic, they also tend to be plagued by uncertainty and financial concerns.
- Stretched Worriers make up the last 26% of the country. They’re uncertain, concerned, anxious and worried about their ability to save effectively. This is the only segment where saving is not a priority because they’re more focused on keeping up with bills and paying off debt.
The fascinating details
Here’s how each group breaks down when it comes to saving consistently:
- 88% of Confident Savers always save money every month
- 77% of Tentative Savers also save money every month
- 48% of Concerned Strivers save every month, while 51% save sometimes
- Only 34% of Stretched Worriers save sometimes, and 66% do not save
For the first three types of savers, although debt elimination is an important part of an effective saving strategy, elimination does not take precedence over saving entirely:
- Concerned Strivers say credit card debt repayment is their top priority
- Confident Savers and Tentative Savers both rank mortgage debt and credit card debt as equally important when it comes to debt repayment
When it comes to saving for retirement:
- Confident Savers and Concerned Strivers both, on average, start saving for retirement before age 30
- Tentative Savers also start saving at or around their early 30s, but they are more concerned about retirement savings
- Stretched Worriers start saving the latest at around age 36, on average, and are the least confident; retirement savings is an equal priority to emergency savings for this group
What you can do
“The main goal of any saving strategy is consistency,” says April Lewis-Parks, Financial Education Outreach Director for Consolidated Credit. “Even saving just a few dollars every month gets your savings headed in the right direction and helps you develop a health saving habit. Saving something, even if it doesn’t seem like a large amount of money, is better than saving nothing. The first step is to get started.”
Regardless of which kind of saver you think you are, debt elimination is likely causing a decrease in the amount you have available to save. Consolidating your debt reduces the amount of income you have to use for debt elimination, freeing up more money to save.
“A debt management program can reduce your total monthly credit card debt payments by 30 to 50 percent,” Lewis-Parks explains. “That provides an immediate boost to free cash flow that you can turn into a recurring transfer to your savings account.”
Setting up an automatic recurring transfer or asking your HR department to split your direct deposit between checking and savings can help you save effectively, because it makes savings automatic. That way, you don’t have to remember to save because it’s already factored in.
For more information on debt elimination and how to use consolidation to improve cash flow, call Consolidated Credit today at 1-888-294-3130 or complete an online application to request a free debt and budget analysis from a certified credit counselor. You can find more savings tips in Consolidated Credit’s free Guide to Saving Effectively.