Americans Report Using Spare Cash for Debt Relief

September 13, 2006 ( - The latest ACNielsen Online Consumer Confidence Survey finds Americans tend to use what spare cash they may have for debt relief or savings.

According to a press release on the survey, 22% of US respondents said they have no spare cash after paying their living expenses. Portugal was the only market with more respondents saying they had no spare cash (23%) than the US.

Paying off debts was the number one use of what spare cash they may have, reported by 41% of US respondents, according to the release. Putting money into savings followed with 38% of US votes. Only 14% report using any spare cash to invest in stocks or mutual funds, and only 13% say they funnel spare cash to retirement funds.

One thing the survey showed for sure is that Americans are foregoing purchases in lieu of saving. US consumers ranked in the bottom 10 when it comes to spending their money on new technology (17%), vacations (25%) and new clothes (26%).

The ACNielsen Online Consumer Confidence Survey – which gauges consumer confidence levels, spending habits/intentions and current major concerns – took place in June 2006 over the Internet, and included 21,779 respondents in 40 markets.