Americans Report Bad Financial Habits

December 12, 2012 ( – Americans admit they are guilty of some bad financial habits, with not saving topping the list.

Nearly one-third (30%) of people surveyed by Allianz Life said “not saving any money” was their worst financial habit in 2012. Twenty-four percent said they saved some money, but admitted they did not save as much as they could.  

Aside from saving in general, 5% of survey respondents indicated they did not contribute to their employer-sponsored retirement plan. Three percent said their worst financial habit was “contributing to my employer-sponsored retirement plan, but not taking full advantage of my employer match.”  

Other worst financial habits of 2012 cited by respondents included: 

  • Spend too much money on things I don’t need – 30%;
  • Don’t have a household budget – 18%;
  • Spend more than I make – 18%;
  • Don’t educate myself about financial planning – 15%;
  • Pay bills late – 12%;
  • Only make the minimum payment on credit cards – 10%;
  • Play the lottery/gamble – 9%; and 
  • Don’t seek professional help with my finances – 9%. 


Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America conducted the 2012 Bad Financial Habits Survey, an eNation online survey, through Ipsos in November 2012 with 1,000 panel respondents.