Here are some interesting survey results from the Pew Research Center.
- 77% of Americans describe themselves as “always looking for more ways to save money,” while 18% don’t even try to save.
- 63% believe they should save more, while 32% believe they are saving enough.
How about spending more than one can afford? Today, a government report showed a negative savings rate of 1.2%, worse than the previous rate of 1.0%, meaning on average Americans are spending $101.20 for every $100 of income. Here is what the Pew survey reported about spending.
More than one-in-three (36%) Americans say they often or sometimes spend more than they can afford. Among the groups most inclined to say this are lower-income adults, younger adults, blacks, people who carry credit card debt, and self-described savers.
Why is this trend getting worse? US News & World Report believes this is due to little splurges, based on the survey results.
Consumers have drastically expanded the list of things they deem to be necessities of life. For instance, 68% of adults now believe that a microwave oven is an absolute necessity, up from just 32% a decade ago. Fifty-nine percent say they absolutely must have an air conditioner in their cars, up from 41% who thought so in 1996. Roughly half of all respondents say that a home computer and a cell phone are needed to function in day-to-day life.
This might be a difficult question. What do you consider a necessity now than you may not have ten years ago?
Updated October 16, 2008 and originally published February 1, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.