2FD 055: The Spending and Saving Habits of Americans

We peered into the spending and saving habits of Americans, looking at statistics around student loan debt, auto loans, the effect of our impulses and what millennials are doing differently. Jennifer McDermott from Finder.com, has joined us to share their analysis of finance related issues and trends impacting the everyday American. CHA-CHING!

Discussion Points

  • The shocking numbers behind debt regret.
  • How people feel about their college degrees.
  • Statistics around the growth of student loan debt.
  • How bad our impulsive purchases are costing us money.
  • How to recognize and control your spending habits.
  • The names of people that are least likely to pay back their debt.
  • Frugal Tip of The Week: How to have a frugal Christmas.

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The Cheat Sheet!

  • 48% of people plan to shop on Black Friday.
  • 45% of people regret purchases they make.
  • Americans carry around a lot of regret in their housing decisions, student loans and credit card debt.
  • Millennials are more likely to embrace technology for their money and pull out mobile phones instead of their wallets.
  • Millennials do care about retirement and 70% of them wish they had started earlier.
  • Student debt is now at $1.34 trillion, growing yearly by 6.75% and is a top debt regret that people are taking into their retirements.
  • 2 in 5 Americans don’t see value in their college degree.
  • Calculate how long it would take to payoff student loan debt after looking at industry salaries before deciding to take on a student loan.
  • A new car could be cheaper in the long run but we’re seeing financing terms getting longer and longer to reduce payments for people, keeping them in debt.
  • 95% of people are prone to impulse shopping.
  • You’re more prone to impulsive shopping in person than online.
  • Only 1 in 10 people feel pressured to make a purchase, with the most common reason people impulse shop coming from FOMO, Fear of Missing Out.
  • The Thrifty Couple’s book on The 2% Rule to Get Debt Free Fast taught Sean to hold onto coupons until manufacturer sales vs. using the coupon right away.
  • 20% of people feel they don’t have the money to pay for a necessity after making an impulsive purchase.
  • 10% of people get into a fight with their family after making an impulsive purchase.
  • Paying with a credit card reduces the emotional attachment to your money where paying with cash is psychologically harder to do.
  • Jennifer and Michael are the top names of people least likely to pay back their debt.
  • Recognize your own spending triggers so you can take action to manage them. Add micro-costs and controls to the places you’re more prone to spend money.
  • Frugal Tip of The Week: For Christmas this year maybe setup agreements to not exchange gifts with relatives and focus on the children or try to do a pollyanna. You could ask for gifts that provide experiences like museum and theme park passes instead of toys that lose their luster. Another cool theme is giving your kids something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.
  • Finder.com is a comparison website for anything from credit cards, shopping deals and coupons to help you make sound financial decisions.

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