‘Active Savers’ Better off During Downturn

Those who are committed to saving money and take a disciplined approach to spending are better prepared for the down economy, according to a study by HSBC.

HSBC called the group “Active Savers,” which describes about 22% of Americans, according to the survey.

According to a release of the results, the survey revealed:

  • Most active savers have not had to take drastic measures to adapt to uncertain financial times and are less likely to have had to cut back on spending, eating out, and making large purchases.
  • Some 28% of active savers feel that curbing expenses would most improve their current financial situation. As a result, 46% remain comfortable with their current financial situation.
  • An overwhelming majority of survey respondents (85%) have modified their savings and spending habits as a result of the current economic climate. However, 76% of people believe that once the situation improves, everyone is going to return to their old ways.

“This survey reveals why some Americans appear better at saving than others and illustrates the sort of behavior and attitudes that could help many U.S. consumers manage their long-term finances more effectively,” said Kevin Martin, EVP of Personal Financial Services, HSBC Bank USA, in the release.

The poll also found that 57% of active savers learned to save started at a young age. Putting money away is a value their parents instilled into them (73%). Consequently, among the active savers who use direct deposit, 58% put more than 10% of their income into a retirement or savings account on a regular basis. When they receive additional income, such as a bonus or cash gift, nearly two-thirds (64%) set aside more than 25% into savings, the data showed.

While retirement was most frequently ranked as the number one reason among all respondents as the reason for saving, active savers were even more likely to choose it (77% of active savers versus 65% of the study’s other respondents). A second motivating factor for the active saver is “an added sense of security” in their daily lives, rather than out of fear of an (unforeseen) emergency.

The HSBC Direct Active Savers Know-how (ASK) research was conducted online in April, among a sample of 1,000 adults in the United States, 500 of whom qualify as active savers.