'Active Savers' Make Putting Money Aside a Top Priority

May 19, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Active Savers - those committed to saving money on an ongoing basis, taking a disciplined approach to spending, and managing debt in a responsible manner - appear far better prepared for the down economy than more sporadic savers.

A HSBC news release said that was a key takeaway from a new survey that identified about 22% of Americans as fitting in the Active Saver category.

According to the news release, the survey revealed:

  • Most Active Savers have not had to take drastic measures to adapt to uncertain financial times and are less likely to have had to cut back on spending, eating out and making large purchases.
  • Some 28% of Active Savers feel that curbing expenses would most improve their current financial situation. As a result, 46% remain comfortable with their current financial situation.
  • 85% have modified their savings and spending habits as a result of the current economic climate. However, 76% of people believe that once the situation improves, everyone is going to return to their old ways.

“This survey reveals why some Americans appear better at saving than others and illustrates the sort of behavior and attitudes that could help many U.S. consumers manage their long-term finances more effectively,” Kevin Martin, EVP of Personal Financial Services, HSBC Bank USA, said in the announcement.

The poll also found that 57% of Active Savers learned to save started at a young age. Putting money away is a value their parents instilled into them (73%). Consequently, among the Active Savers who use direct deposit, 58% put more than 10% of their income into a retirement or savings account on a regular basis. When they receive additional income, such as a bonus or cash gift, nearly two-thirds (64%) set aside more than 25% into savings, the data showed.

While retirement was most frequently ranked as the number one reason among all respondents as the reason for saving, Active Savers were even more likely to choose it (77% of Active Savers versus 65% of the study’s other respondents). A second motivating factor for the Active Saver is “an added sense of security” in their daily lives, rather than out of fear of an (unforeseen) emergency.

The HSBC Direct Active Savers Know-how (ASK) research was conducted online April 14-15, 2009, among a sample of 1,000 adults in the United States, 500 of whom qualify as Active Savers.