Survey shows how Americans plan to meet 2015 financial goals

Americans really want to save. They just don’t know if they can do it.

Saving money is this year’s most popular financial resolution, with more than 37 percent of Americans prioritizing it over paying down debt, curbing their spending, investing and even getting a raise. But a new GOBankingRates survey, which asked consumers about their biggest savings goals for 2015, found nearly one in four respondents aren’t at all confident that they’ll be able to meet this resolution.

The poll revealed Americans’ No. 1 short- and long-term savings goals, the biggest obstacles they believe are keeping them from success, and what they’re planning on doing differently in 2015 to save more.

Overall, building an emergency fund came in first place for short-term savings goals, while saving for retirement was the most popular long-term goal. Insufficient income was the top response for the biggest obstacle facing savers in 2015, followed by unemployment; more than 22 percent of respondents said they have little or no confidence they’ll be able to follow through on their savings resolution this year.

There were some surprising variations among demographics. For example, women are more focused on building an emergency fund, while men are far more likely to be saving for a vehicle. Millennials also have cars on their minds, as well as big-ticket items and vacations, whereas Gen Xers are pursuing homeownership and baby boomers are busy saving for home renovations and retirement.

How Americans Save Money

What Americans Are Saving for in 2015

Top Short-Term Savings Goals

Emergency fund 36.82%

Home renovations/repairs 19%

Vacation 18.61%

Vehicle 12.84%

Big-ticket purchase 4.88%

Other 4.18%

Wedding 3.68%

Top Long-Term Savings Goals

Retirement 38.51%

Home 23.58%

Retirement health care costs 19.60%

Having a family 8.66%

Education 8.56%

Other 1.09%

The Gender Divide

For their short-term financial goals, men are approximately 50 percent more likely than women to be saving for a vehicle, while women are 16 percent more likely to be saving for an emergency fund. As for long-term financial goals, women are 40 percent more likely to be saving for retirement health care costs, while men are more likely to be saving for a family and education — roughly 30 and 26 percent more, respectively.

The Conflicting Priorities of Millennials

The 18- to 24 year-olds surveyed listed saving for a vehicle as their top short-term goal far more than any other group. The other most common savings goals for this age group were building an emergency fund and planning a vacation. Of all the respondents, 24- to 34-year-olds were more than twice as likely to be saving for a wedding.

Saving for a family was the top long-term goal among 18 -to 24-year-olds, but this age group was the least likely to be saving for retirement or an emergency fund. Millennials were also the least likely to list paying down debt as something they will do differently to achieve their savings goals, despite one in 10 citing loans as their biggest obstacle to saving. That said, given millennials are the most likely to be struggling with unemployment, low wages and student loans, they might not feel they have the extra funds needed to tackle debt.

Generation X: The Struggle to Settle Down

Among those surveyed, 25- to 44-year olds were most likely of any age group to list homeownership as their top long-term savings goal, followed by saving for a family.

For short-term goals, this group was the most likely of any age bracket to be saving for a wedding. Meanwhile, 35- to 44-year-olds were most concerned with building an emergency fund.

Baby Boomers: Preparing for the Future

45- to 64-year-olds were the most likely of any age group to be saving short-term for home renovations or repairs.

Among all respondents, there was a strong correlation between age and likelihood to select retirement health care costs or retirement as a long-term savings goal. Those 45 and older named saving for retirement and retirement health care costs as their top long-term savings goals; respondents 65 and older were most likely to be saving for both categories, while 18- to 24-year-olds were the least likely.

Following the Money: Income and Savings Goals

Income and saving for a big-ticket purchase or a vacation are positively correlated: The more money you make, the more likely it is that you’ll be saving up for a big purchase or that trip to the Bahamas.

It comes as no surprise that those with the two highest income brackets are least likely to be saving for an emergency fund, while the lowest income bracket is most likely to have this goal. This remained the biggest concern across all income brackets except those earning $150,000 plus a year, who were more concerned with saving for a vacation.

Saving for retirement and retirement health care costs positively correlates with income; as the respondent’s salary increases, so does the likelihood that he will be saving for one of the retirement goals.

Additionally, those with the lowest and highest income brackets are both the most likely to be saving for a family.

The Biggest Obstacles to Saving in 2015

Insufficient income 36.72%

Unemployment 10.85%

Poor money management 10.75%

Credit card debt 9.55%

Loans 7.66%

No bank account 1.19%

No obstacles 23.28%

Even though insufficient income was the most popular obstacle to saving in 2015, unemployment was the most consistent factor across all age groups. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 25- to 34-year-olds and 55- to 64-year-olds, about one in nine respondents named unemployment as their biggest obstacle.

Men vs. Women: Women were more likely to list unemployment and insufficient income as their biggest obstacles, while men were more likely to choose poor money management.

Millennials: Unemployment was the top obstacle among 18-to 34-year olds, but they were also more likely than any other age group to cite poor money management as a problem. Those 34 and under were also the most likely to cite loans as an obstacle to saving, likely due to student debt.

Gen X: Insufficient income was the top obstacle for this age group, consistent with overall results. Gen Xers were also more likely than their younger and retired counterparts to mention credit card debt.

Baby Boomers: Those aged 55 to 64 were most likely of any group to list unemployment as the top obstacle, followed by insufficient income and credit card debt.

How Confident Are Americans That They’ll Meet Their Savings Goals?

Somewhat confident 53.93%

Extremely confident 23.78%

Not very confident 17.31%

Not confident at all 4.98%

Most respondents, almost 54 percent, feel “somewhat confident” in their ability to reach their savings goals in 2015. A third (34 percent) feel “extremely confident.” Only 5 percent said they were “not confident at all,” while more (17 percent) said they were “not very confident” that they could reach their 2015 savings goals.

What They’ll Do Differently to Achieve Their Goals

Budget more effectively 43.58%

Pay down debt 23.38%

Contribute to a retirement savings account 9.75%

Consult professional advice (advisor, books, blogs, etc.) 4.38%

Open a bank account or get a better bank account 3.78%

I won’t do anything differently 15.12%

When asked what they planned to do differently in 2015 to achieve their goals, the most common response was to budget more effectively, with 43 percent of respondents giving this answer. The next most popular response was paying down debt (23 percent); 15 percent said they didn’t have plans to make changes in the new year.

Methodology

GOBankingRates conducted a Survata survey from Dec. 3 to 11, 2014, which polled 1,006 respondents, all of whom confirmed having a savings goal for 2015 before being asked questions regarding their savings habits and goals. Note that due to rounding, figures do not always add up to 100 percent.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like