AICPA poll shows many adults using smart spending as savings strategy

As the U.S. economy slows, more and more Americans are cutting back on spending to in order to save money, according to a recent nationwide survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Twenty-five percent of respondents in the survey of 1,026 adults said they were spending wisely or not spending as much as a means of saving money. This is a sharp increase from 2007, when only 2 percent said they were spending wisely or cutting spending in order to accumulate savings.

"It's both surprising and very encouraging that in the space of a year, so many more people are thinking about their spending habits in the context of saving," said Carl George, chair of the AICPA's National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.

Spending wisely or not spending as much ranks second as a savings strategy in the current survey. Interest-bearing savings accounts take the top spot, with 40 percent of respondents. Other strategies cited were company-sponsored retirement plans (13 percent); stocks, bonds, and mutual funds (11 percent); IRAs (7 percent); and CDs (5 percent). Interestingly, 3 percent said conserving energy was part of their savings plan.

"We'd like to see more people taking advantage of company retirement plans like 401(k)s," George said. "Many employers match a percentage of a worker's contributions. A matching contribution is basically free money."

The study was conducted by telephone within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants between March 5 and March 9, 2008, among 1,026 Americans over the age of 18. Results were weighted for education, age by sex, race, household size (number of adults), number of voice/telephone lines in the household, and 8-point region where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.

You may like these other stories...

By Deanna C. White Millennials may be incredibly savvy when it comes to using technology to research nearly every decision they make, but when it comes to determining their financial habits, a new survey suggests they...
By Deanna C. White A survey by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) indicates that many American parents are still reluctant to engage their children in significant conversations about money, with only 13 percent of...
By Jason Bramwell The percentage of higher education leaders who  are "very concerned" about their ability to maintain current enrollment levels is on the rise, according to the second annual Higher...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 26
This webcast will include discussions of recently issued, commonly-applicable Accounting Standards Updates for non-public, non-governmental entities.
Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.