60 Percent of Americans Saving More Compared to Last Year

A new survey from CNBC, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., an Acorns, San Mateo, found Americans are saving more and spending less compared to before the pandemic with 60% of respondents call themselves “savers,” up from 54% a year ago.

The periodic Invest in You Survey of 5,400 Americans age 18 and over, conducted through SurveyMonkey, reported many Americans are seeing the costs of essential items going up, amounting to increased monthly spending, though most are skewing towards a philosophy of saving over spending.

Key findings:

–46% say they are “more of a saver now” compared to before the pandemic.

–Nearly half (49%) of respondents say their monthly spending has decreased over the course of the last year. Among that group, more than half (53%) say they are spending less because they are worried about the current economic situation and another 26% are spending less because they say their monthly income has decreased.

–14% of Americans say they have wiped out their emergency savings since the onset of the pandemic and 11% have borrowed money to cover emergency expenses.

–More than a quarter (26%) of 25-34-year-olds say they have wiped out emergency savings.

–16% of Black and 20% of Hispanic Americans say they have wiped out emergency savings, versus 13% of White Americans.

–Less than 10% of respondents say they have taken extreme measures like borrowing or taking early withdrawals from retirement accounts and asking for mortgage or rent relief.

–The majority of respondents 53% living with children under 18 say they have no savings account, 529, IRA or cash set up for their kids.

–32% say they have regular savings accounts for their kids while 13% have a 529 college savings account.

–59% of Black and 60% of Hispanic parents say they have no savings accounts for their kids.

–19% of parents say they have an automatic savings feature set up for their kids’ accounts.

Last month, the Commerce Department reported U.S. consumers’ savings rate – the portion of monthly income that households are socking away – hit a record 33.5% in April before edging down to 19% in June—still well above pre-pandemic levels, when the savings rate was 7.5% of income.

“These insights are critical for business leaders looking ahead to 2021,” said Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey. “People’s pocketbooks—and plans—have been buffeted by the pandemic economy, and widespread financial anxiety is leaving customers wary of unchecked spending.”

The SurveyMonkey online poll took place August 13 – 20; the modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2 percentage points.