Americans are spending a lot and saving very little, according to a recent poll by GOBankingRates. Time reports that GOBankingRates recently asked 7000 Americans how much money was in their savings account, and the results were more than a little concerning: 69 percent of Americans polled reported having less than $1000 in their savings accounts, while a full 34 percent reported having $0 saved up.
Unsurprisingly, results of the poll varied by income and age: By and large, young Millennials (those between age 18 and 34) and people with lower incomes had saved the least, while seniors and people with higher incomes saved the most. For instance, while 37 percent of people making between $25,000 and $50,000 reported having no savings, only 6 percent of people making more than $150,000 reported the same.
Results of the poll were worrying across the board. Even for older adults and the relatively well-off, savings were surprisingly low. Certified financial planner Brandon Hayes speculates that this may be, in part, because cashless payment options make it too easy to spend money. “Our issue is we’re spending before we even save and then never look back,” he told GOBankingsRates. “With a cashless society, it’s tough to appreciate a dollar when you never see one.”
However, CFP Michael Hardy admits that part of the problem may be the myriad financial pressures Americans are currently facing. He explains, “Many people save too much for things like retirement, college savings, or investments and squeeze themselves too tightly financially, leaving little room for spending or building of their emergency fund.”