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40% of Americans Cut Spending in Past 60 Days

New Bankrate poll reveals how Americans feel about their finances

BankRate Inc.New York, NY – Nasty headlines about the economy and stock market prompted 40 percent of Americans to reduce their spending in the past 60 days, according to Bankrate.com’s (NYSE: RATE) September Financial Security Index.

The overall Financial Security Index rebounded slightly from its August trough, rising from 92.3 to 93.9, which is still the third-lowest level since the monthly polls commenced in December 2010. Any index value below 100 indicates declining levels of financial security compared with 12 months ago.

The new study was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International and can be seen in its entirety here.

“Forty percent of Americans say they have cut back on spending in the past 60 days due to the roller-coaster stock market or concerns about the economy. That is how recessions are born,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s senior financial analyst.

The spending reductions were evident across all income groups, with 37% of the highest-income households ($75,000+) cutting back and 43% of the lowest-income households (under $30,000) cutting back. Those between ages 50-64 were most likely to cut back, at 46%. Just 32% of those under age 30 cut back.

Other Notable Findings

  • 23% of those under age 30 feel more secure in their jobs than they did 12 months ago, compared to 10% or less of those age 50 and up.
  • Among those between ages 50-64, half are less comfortable with their savings compared with one year ago.
  • Among those age 30 and up, more Americans reported lower net worth than higher net worth compared to last year.

The PSRAI September 2011 Omnibus Week 1 obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,001 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (601) and cell phone (400, including 192 without a landline phone). The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from September 1st-4th, 2011. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is +/-3.6 percentage points.

About Bankrate, Inc.

The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsureMe, CreditCardGuide.com, Bankaholic, CreditCards.com and NetQuote. Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company’s flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance.

Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: AOL), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Bankrate.com’s information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers.


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