Are you trying to save some extra cash but having trouble? Are you meeting the goals you set for yourself? You’re are not alone. Half of Americans think that creating a basic saving plan is an important goal they would like to accomplish this year, but 28 percent feel it will be impossible to achieve, according to new research from PurePoint® Financial, a digital bank, and division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A.

According to a press release the third annual PurePoint Financial “State of Savings in America” survey, 84 percent of Americans say they are saving for something, however, their overall confidence surrounding saving is unsteady. The research found that only two in five Americans consider themselves better than OK when it comes to their money-saving habits. More surprisingly, personal attitudes around saving did not differ based on age.

Many respondents said they are skeptical about their ability to save. When ranking what they are more likely to achieve than their savings goal in 2020:

  • 51 percent said they’re more likely to travel to an exciting new place
  • 28 percent said they’re more likely to achieve their “dream body”
  • 25 percent said they’re more likely to fall in love

“The peace of mind that comes from knowing you have money saved can make achieving many of life’s other goals all the more attainable,” said Brian Milton, deputy head of consumer banking at Union Bank and PurePoint Financial. “Getting in the habit of saving is key. First, set a goal, any goal. Saving is always easier with a goal in mind. Then set up monthly automatic transfers into a savings account that offers a competitive rate. If you’re going to save your hard-earned money, you’ll want an account that works hard for you too.”

Talk it out.
More than 20 percent of Americans would rather talk to their best friends about their most embarrassing health issue than the status of their savings account, even more so for women (25 percent of females vs. 18 percent of males). This may be because nearly three in 10 respondents who consider themselves bad at saving hide that they have little to no savings from their friends because they feel ashamed.

“Our survey found nearly 30 percent of millennials constantly feel like they have to decline invitations to go out with friends so that they can save money,” Milton said in the news release. “We understand it can be hard to talk about finances with others, but chances are your friends may be in a similar situation. By opening a dialogue about your financial goals and challenges, you may find ways to spend time together without breaking your budget.”

Are you still watching? Subscriptions are eating away at your bank account.
In today’s “subscription economy,” it seems easier than ever to automatically spend rather than save. Many Americans report that they are often losing track of their monthly subscriptions and are paying the price. There’s too many to count – one in three Americans do not regularly review their subscription services to keep track of how much they are spending.

Further, one in five Americans have gone over their monthly budget as a result of forgetting to cancel a subscription and one in 10 report having to dip into savings because they forgot to cancel a subscription service.

Gen Z and millennial respondents are more likely to feel the pressure from subscription services, with one in four going over their monthly budget and nearly 15 percent having to dip into savings because they forgot to cancel a subscription service, the news release added.

Additional findings include:

  • Singles are playing catch up: 44 percent of those in a relationship consider themselves better than OK when it comes to their money-saving habits vs. 37 percent of those who are single. Also, only 16 percent of single savers are putting money aside for retirement, compared to 29 percent of couples.
  • Millennials are focused on the now: While millennials represent the largest generation in the U.S., only 25 percent are saving to buy a home, prioritizing more immediate financial needs like rainy-day funds (34 percent) and getting out of debt (28 percent).
  • Gen Z is prioritizing the basics: Gen Z’s most prized priority savings this year? A car (26 percent) followed by paying for school (23 percent).
  • Missing out on compound interest: Three in 10 Americans would choose to take $1,000 now versus waiting a year for $3,000.

Research was gathered through an online survey of 1,250+ adults in the U.S. (aged 18+), commissioned by PurePoint Financial and conducted by independent research firm Edelman Intelligence. Data was collected January 31 – February 3, 2020 and was weighted to be nationally representative.

Source: PurePoint Financial