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Newest Personal Finance Data Study Looks at How Much Americans Have Spent and Saved Last Year, Despite Lingering Debt

Newest Personal Finance Data Study Looks at How Much Americans Have Spent and Saved Last Year, Despite Lingering Debt

Upgraded Points shared the results of a recent survey that delves into the spending habits of average Americans, from credit card expenditures to how much people have managed to save over the last year despite rising inflation. The study looked at credit card purchases, frequency of use, age/gender of cardholders, card benefits, banks most cardholders use, how often cardholders miss payments, and other interesting financials.

Study Methodology

Upgraded Points surveyed 1,000 Americans from varying demographic and socioeconomic groups, asking questions on topics ranging from credit card usage, saving and budgeting habits, which purchases should be put on hold due to lingering debt, and more.

The personal finance experts also created an interactive calculator that allows users to see exactly what they could afford to purchase if they had the cash-on-hand equal to their debt. From small treats like cocktails and coffee to indulgent luxury expenses like a two-week trip to Europe or a new car down payment.

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“Most financial experts agree that everyone should have at least six months of expenses saved to cover emergencies,” said Alex Miller, Upgraded Points founder. “For example, if your personal expenses total $3000/month, you should have at least $18,000 in savings to back you up. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t even close to having that much money set aside. Our study revealed that 32% of Americans have less than $500 in their savings account.”

The survey also found that nearly half of all Americans are falling deeper into debt; especially with the cost of inflation impacting gas, grocery, rent, and other expenses. More than 21% of those surveyed say they cannot save any money at all due to the increased costs of inflation.

Other study results indicated that:

  • 17% of Americans are not saving because they make just enough to get by.
  • 23% of Americans try to budget but do not succeed.
  • 21% of Americans do not stick to any budget at all.
  • 73% of Americans are currently stressed about their financial situation.

Financial worries affect younger adults the most, with 80% of 25 to 34-year-olds reporting that money was a huge stressor in their life. 24% of those surveyed reported that they had to get a second job to pay off their debts, while another 19% are considering doing so as well.

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  • 44% of Americans were aged 22 or older before they got their first credit card.
  • Most Americans have credit cards with either Capital One or Bank of America.
  • 43% of men use credit cards as their primary form of payment – far more than women.
  • 47% of those surveyed stated that credit cards were the most common source of their debt.

“Acquiring significant credit card debt that exceeds your financial limits can come with serious financial consequences. However, when managed properly, credit cards can be helpful financial tools. It’s easy to forget just how useful credit cards are for maintaining and improving your credit score,” said Alex Miller. “And most credit cards have a wide range of incentives like cash-back rewards, sign-up bonuses, and reward points that can be used for for premium airfare, hotels and even experiences like exclusive wine tastings and special tickets to major sporting events.”

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