WASHINGTON (1/23/15)--Consumers are more committed--and capable--of putting money into savings this year, according to America Saves' Personal Savings Index (PSI).
Consumers' interest in savings stands at 70% compared with 65% a year ago, according to the group's triannual survey.
Savings effort came in at 61% this year compared with 58% last year, and savings effectiveness also edged higher at 59% compared with 56% a year prior.
"Last year at this time, we suggested that a post-holiday financial hangover helped explain the decline in savings interest, effort and effectiveness from September 2013 to January 2014," said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of Consumer Federation of America and founder of America Saves. "But the fact that the decline did not occur between September 2014 and January 2015 suggests that Americans are now feeling better about their financial condition."
Substantial increases in the savings interest, effort and effectiveness of low- and middle-income households account for almost all of the overall PSI increases.
"Our new data suggest that low- and middle-class Americans are feeling more optimistic about their financial situation now than a year ago," Brobeck noted. "Instead of being distracted by heavy holiday spending and debts, they are nearly as interested and active saving today as they were this past September."
After learning that the survey dealt with "personal saving for goals ranging from a rainy day fund to retirement," respondents were asked to rate their personal savings interest, effort and effectiveness on a 10-point scale.
This year's theme for America Saves and Military Saves weeks is "Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically." The Credit Union National Association is among the organizations promoting good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status during the annual campaign, set for Feb. 23-28.