Spending, Saving Changes Should Outlast Economic Turmoil

Americans of all income levels and ethnic groups look on the spending and saving changes they have made in response to the economic turmoil of 2008 and 2009 as permanent, according to the results of a new poll by Citi.

A Citi news release said 63% of Americans surveyed said they considered the lifestyle changes as lasting forever, while 29% intended to go back to their historical patterns when the economy turned.

Changes made include:

  • Fifty-nine percent will continue to cut back on everyday expenses.
  • Sixty percent will continue to save and invest more.
  • Sixty-one percent will continue to cut down on credit card purchases.
  • Sixty-three percent will continue to reduce the amount of money they owe.

“This new survey points to a profound shift in the way people think about their saving and spending,” said Eric Eve, Senior Vice President, Global Community Relations, at Citi, in a news release. “The current economic environment is altering, perhaps permanently, the way we think about spending money..”

People across all income levels and ethnic groups in the survey said they have made adjustments to the way they spend and save because of the current economic situation.

According to the data, across all income levels:

  • Fifty-three percent have postponed the purchase of a major item such as an automobile.
  • Forty-two percent are taking money out of savings or investments to help pay expenses.
  • Thirty-four percent are saving and investing more.

More specifically, those who earn less than $50,000 were most likely to cut back on everyday expenses (80%), slightly more than the 76% of those who earn $50,000 to $75,000. However, even at the top of the income scale, people are making adjustments and cutting back on everyday expenses; 70% of those who earn more than $150,000 and 68% of those who earn $75,000 to $150,000.