Consumer spending, Economy

Building savings ranks No. 1 among American consumers’ 2014 resolutions

Savings JarRecent data from American Express’ Spending and Saving Tracker showed building savings is the no. 1 resolution for Americans in 2014.

According to the AmEx data, 54 percent of Americans plan to save more money over the coming year, compared to just 33 percent in 2013. Nearly half of Americans report feeling confident about their finances going into the new year, compared to 32 percent in 2010.

Nearly 25 percent, however, plan to cut spending this year and those who are saving plan to increase savings by 14 percent from last year.

“Smart spending is still the name of the game in 2014,” David Rabkin, the senior vice president of U.S. consumer lending products at AmEx, said. “The lessons of the recession are top of mind for Americans, who say they will keep saving and setting financial goals. That said, across income groups, Americans are optimistic and ready to splurge a little this year, planning leisure trips, renovating their homes and opening their wallets for little things, like a night on the town or a new outfit.”

Overall, 85 percent of consumers plan to establish financial goals for 2014. In order to reach their goals, 53 percent plan to save from primary income, 26 percent plan to set aside part of their tax refund, 21 percent plan to cut luxury spending, 19 percent plan to win the lotto and 18 percent plan to sell personal items or possessions.

While Americans indicated that they plan to save more in 2014, consumers do plan to make some discretionary purchases in the new year. Approximately one in three Americans plans to spend more to upgrade and remodel their home, while eight percent plan to purchase homes. Homebuyers, however, plan to spend 45 percent more than last year.

Nearly 25 percent of Americans plan to purchase a new or pre-owned vehicle, and 30 percent plan to spend more on clothing, accessories, shoes and jewelry in 2014. Approximately half of all Americans plan to spend more on travel in 2014.

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