Personal Savings Interest, Effort, and Effectiveness Declined in First Trimester of 2015

Contact: Katie Bryan, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 202-939-1018

Washington, DC – The interest, effort, and effectiveness of Americans to save personally declined during the first trimester of 2015, according to the latest Personal Savings Index (PSI) survey undertaken by America Saves.  From January to May of this year, interest in saving fell from 70% to 63%, saving effort declined from 61% to 58%, and perceived saving success dropped from 59% to 55%.

These four-month decreases were especially pronounced among low-income respondents.  For those with household incomes under $25,000, interest declined from 58% to 52%, effort fell from 51% to 43%, and effectiveness dropped from 49% to 41%.  In contrast, for those in households with incomes $100,000 and over, while interest flagged (down from 82% to 77%), effort increased from 73% to 75%, and effectiveness rose from 72% to 73%.

“While it is not clear why indicators declined for low-income but not upper-income consumers, the anemic first-quarter economy, with stagnant growth, may be related to these differences,” noted Stephen Brobeck, Consumer Federation of America Executive Director and a founder of American Saves. 

The PSI percentages for the past six trimesters are the following:                                                                

  Interest Effort Effectiveness
9-13 71% 62% 58%
1-14 65 58 56
5-14 71 63 58
9-14 71 62 60
1-15 70 61 59
5-15 63 58 55

The surveys are undertaken for America Saves by ORC International, which interviewed a sample of 1,015 adult Americans May 7-10 by cell-phone or landline.  The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.

America Saves, a campaign managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. The research-based campaign uses the principles of behavioral economics and social marketing to change behavior. Nonprofit, government, and corporate groups participate in America Saves nationally and through local, regional, and statewide campaigns around the country. America Saves encourages individuals and families to take the America Saves pledge and organizations to promote savings year-round and during America Saves Week. Learn more at americasaves.org and americasavesweek.org.

Take the Pledge

Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. 

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Administrator2 | January 12, 2014

    Keep track of your spending. At least once a month, use credit card, checking, and other records to review what you've purchased. Then, ask yourself if it makes sense to reallocate some of this spending to an emergency savings account. http://ow.ly/sj972

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Put 20 Percent Away

Written by Lindsay Ferguson | July 8, 2019

“I am a single mother, and I make ends meet for me and my daughter, but I wanted to put money away for my daughter for a college fund. So I started saving 20 percent of my paycheck every month to put it away in a savings account with a high Annual Percentage Yield (APY). By the time my daughter is 18, I will have saved nearly $90,000.”

Read more...

Story of an Urban Professional

Written by Lindsay Ferguson | June 26, 2019

Elaine was inspired to create a new savings goal and plan with the America Saves Pledge after reading the “The Color of Money” column in The Washington Post by Michelle Singletary.

Read more...

Learning to Save

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Kisha Barns’s financial situation was undisciplined, unrestricted, and impulsive before she came into contact with her local America Saves campaign, Charlotte Saves.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Take the Pledge

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

Start Saving

Receive Texts

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | July 15, 2014

Learn More

Partner News & Updates

Written by Katie Bryan | October 18, 2013

Sign Up