6 in 10 Americans Prefer to Save Rather Than Spend Money

January 2, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Household Income | Youth & Gen X

Gallup-Americans-Saving-Spending-Preferences-by-Age-Jan201462% of Americans say they more enjoy saving than spending money, per aggregated results from Gallup polls conducted from 2009 through 2013. Interestingly, despite some variances, that general preference appears to hold true across various demographic breakouts. On an age basis, 18-29-year-olds are more likely than the 65+ group to say they enjoy spending rather than saving money; still, only a minority 40% of the younger group identifies as the type of person who more enjoys spending money.

That compares with 31% of the 65+ crowd who more enjoys spending than saving money.

A study released last year by Scarborough Research found Millennials to be above-average in their inclination to view themselves as “savers” rather than “spenders.

Interestingly, while Gallup attributes youth’s above-average preference for spending to not having families or paying mortgages, the exact same preference figures also applied to the 30-49 age group. That suggests that rather than youth being more liberal with their spending, it’s older age groups that are more conservative with theirs.

The Gallup analysis also indicates that preference for saving is more pronounced among lower-income Americans – with the researchers noting that the “propensity to save [is] at odds with [the] ability to save.” Only 30% of respondents with less than $20,000 in annual household income (HHI) more enjoys spending than saving money, a figure which climbs to 43% among those with at least $75,000 in annual HHI.

When sorting by political ideology, liberals emerge as the group who most enjoy spending rather than saving money, with 43% claiming that preference. By comparison, 38% of moderates and 34% of conservatives more enjoy spending rather than saving. Surprise – conservatives are conservative with their finances!

About the Data: The results are based on aggregated telephone interviews conducted by Gallup from 2009 to 2013, with a combined sample of 6,127 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

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