CNBC and Acorns, the country's fastest growing financial wellness system, today announced the results of the latest Invest in You Survey. The national survey, conducted in partnership with SurveyMonkey, examined the saving and spending behavior of more than 5,400 Americans ages 18 and up.
With the COVID-19 outbreak leaving some Americans to rethink their financial plans for retirement and the financial future of their children, the Invest in You Survey explored how Americans are tightening their belts to account for current economic conditions. The survey found that many are seeing the costs of essential items going up, amounting to increased monthly spending, though most are skewing towards a philosophy of saving over spending.
Key findings from the Invest in You Survey include:
- Americans are saving more and spending less compared to before the pandemic with 60% of respondents call themselves “savers,” which was up from 54% in 2019.
- 46% say they are “more of a saver now” compared to before the pandemic.
- Nearly half (49%) of respondents say their monthly spending has decreased over the course of the last year. Among that group, more than half (53%) say they are spending less because they are worried about the current economic situation and another 26% are spending less because they say their monthly income has decreased.
- 14% of Americans say they have wiped out their emergency savings since the onset of the pandemic and 11% have borrowed money to cover emergency expenses.
- More than a quarter (26%) of 25-34-year-olds say they have wiped out emergency savings.
- 16% of Black and 20% of Hispanic Americans say they have wiped out emergency savings, versus 13% of White Americans.
- Less than 10% of respondents say they have taken extreme measures like borrowing or taking early withdrawals from retirement accounts and asking for mortgage or rent relief.
- The majority of respondents 53% living with children under 18 say they have no savings account, 529, IRA, or cash set up for their kids.
- 32% say they have regular savings accounts for their kids while 13% have a 529 college savings account.
- 59% of Black and 60% of Hispanic parents say they have no savings accounts for their kids.
- 19% of parents say they have an automatic savings feature set up for their kids’ accounts.
"These insights are critical for business leaders looking ahead to 2021,” said Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey. “People's pocketbooks—and plans—have been buffeted by the pandemic economy, and widespread financial anxiety is leaving customers wary of unchecked spending."
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.
This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted August 13 - 20, 2020 among a national sample of 5,401 adults. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. Full results are available here.