Saving Popular with Low-Income Workers

Research from the polling firm Gallup indicates that those who prefer to save money most may also have the most trouble doing so.

In reviewing data from 2009 to 2013, Gallup finds that Americans with the absolute lowest annual household incomes, $20,000 or less, are the most likely to say they enjoy saving money (66%) rather than spending it (30%). This propensity to save drops off notably among those bringing in $50,000 or more, including 56% of those with household incomes between $50,000 and $74,999, and 55% of those earning $75,000 or more.

Age also plays a role in attitudes about saving, according to Gallup. Younger adults are seen as more probable spenders, since they are less likely to have financial obligations such as supporting a family or paying a mortgage, and may figure they have time to save later in life. Older Americans, those age 65 and older, were seen as the most probable savers.

The research also indicates that a person’s political outlook can affect how they look at saving. Those who identified themselves as “conservative” were more likely to say they prefer saving money (64%) than those who considered themselves as “liberal” (54%). Gallup indicates that this could be a function of age differences, with liberals more likely to be younger and conservatives more likely to be older. However, the research did find that this dynamic holds across the different age categories. For example, among those that are 18 to 29 years old, 66% of conservatives say they enjoy saving more than spending, while 52% of liberals say the same.

Research 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.