Young couple sitting on couch looking at bills together

Research shows 60% of Americans are spending all or more than their income

New research from FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s Financial Capability in the United States 2016 report showed that Americans’ satisfaction with their personal finances has nearly doubled from 16% in 2009 to 31% in 2015. Unfortunately, the percent who are spending less than their income, and therefore have money to save, has not seen the same improvement.

The same report found that 40% of Americans are spending less than their income. That leaves 60% of Americans who spend about equal to their income (38%) or who spend more than their income (18%). These numbers have stayed relatively consistent since 2009, staying within two to three percentage points of those reported above.

In an economic climate where it is not always easy to earn more money, or where the amount individuals make month to month may wildly fluctuate, America Saves is motivating people to find places where they can spend less, so that they can free up money to save.

America Saves own research finds that those with a plan are nearly two times as likely to spend less than they earn and save the difference than those without a plan. The idea of putting together a financial plan may seem daunting and cause anxiety and stress. But the act of discovering where your money is going each month and creating a plan, that includes money to save, can create feelings of pride and excitement.

America Saves information and resources go beyond financial education. The information and advice individuals receive encourages them to take action and put strategies to work that will actually help them save.

Last month, America Saves challenged those who have taken the America Saves pledge to save $50 more than their savings goal. 1,623 people accepted the challenge and reported that they saved $50 more – for a total of $81,150 more saved by our savers. We were touched by the savings goal of @MoonBlue2010 who is saving to provide some additional support for a nephew who is preparing to go to college. And we were excited to hear that some saved even more than we challenged them to:

The research from FINRA Investor Education Foundation reminds us that many are still in need of help, motivation, and support to create a plan and a lifestyle that allows them to spend less than they earn and save the difference. With the help of our 60 local campaigns and thousands of organizations America Saves is working hard to create this change.


Need motivation and support to reduce your debt or want to get involved? Individuals can join by taking the pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time here. Organizations can sign up to receive partner resources with article, social media content, graphics, and resources and can participate in America Saves Week. Learn more at americasavesweek.org


Research shows 60% of Americans are spending all or more than their income: http://bit.ly/2bst0LG from @FINRAFoundation v/ @AmericaSaves
Twitter bird Tweet this now

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 Katie Bryan | December 21, 2013

    Putting aside fifty cents a day will allow you to #save nearly $500. 

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Taking Steps Toward Financial Fitness

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | November 7, 2014

Nicky Vasquez learned about Virginia Saves when she attended her first class with Bank On Virginia Beach. The instructor shared how important it was to have a written savings goal, and the entire class joined Virginia Saves as the first step toward financial fitness.

Read more...

Developing a Savings "Game Plan"

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Eunice Diaz, a teacher in Colorado Springs, had been noticing a pattern. Despite the fact that she and her husband were “making good money,” they were spending their entire earnings and “were still struggling at the end of the month.”

Read more...

Budget like Nohemi

Written by Guest Blogger | April 19, 2019

Nohemi found out about America Saves a few years ago as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She remembers attending a University of Illinois Saves event where she decorated a piggy bank and took the Pledge, but college life made her put the thought of saving at the back of her mind. Those thrifty thoughts resurfaced when she graduated with a degree in public health.

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