While not every American might have the perfect personal financial position, there may be reason to be optimistic. A number of people are looking to improve their finances and make room for more savings.
Nearly 60 percent of Americans will make an effort to increase savings or investment by the summer, according to a report from Harris Interactive. This is 11 percentage points higher than in September 2013.
Despite this, there are still some questionable habits done by many Americans. The report explained that 55 percent plan to cut spending at restaurants, which is lower than the 62 percent who said this in the last poll. Those who plan to slow spending on entertainment fell to 52 percent, as September’s level was 61 percent.
Sentiment regarding improving finances remained relatively unchanged in the past year. A total of 22 percent of those polled felt they would be able to get into better financial shape, while this was 23 percent one year earlier. Even with this, the level of people who think their finances will worsen lowered, as well. Just 27 percent noted this sentiment, which was five percentage points lower than at the same point in 2013. Close to half of Americans think their situation will remain unchanged, which is notably higher than the 44 percent who said this one year ago.
Some Americans plan for financial restraint
Another poll showed that some individuals may be dialing back their urge to spend.
According to a report from Country Financial, more than three-quarters of Americans think they will have their spending rate stay the same or decline. Close to 60 percent of those who felt this would go down may cut it by 3 percent or more.
“At a time when Americans are also experiencing low wage growth, it’s encouraging to see they are using their money to pay down debts, leaving little room for discretionary spending,” said Troy Frerichs, senior investment officer at Country Financial. “By curbing their spending and decreasing personal debt, Americans are better positioned to achieve financial security. Creating a financial plan and sticking to a budget helps to ensure that paying down debt the last few years won’t be in vain when times do get better.”
A total of 37 percent of those polled felt they would pay down debt this year, the report added. Close to 20 percent of that group plan on knocking it down by 10 percent or more.