Poll: Americans say they are careful with money

While Americans say they are careful with their money, they are also saying they have bought more at the store than they meant to.

In a Gallup poll conducted June 9-15, 2014, 83 percent said they bought generic or store brands in the last four weeks. Similarly, three-fifths of those polled said they went to more than one store to comparison shop, and almost as many did the same online.

Those polled said they are savers. Some 75 percent agreed with the statement, "I am careful about how I spend my money," and 62 percent agreed with, "When I get some money, I always save some of it. Only 16 percent agreed with the statement, "When I get some money, I spend it right away."

Yet, American consumers are not consistent in their saving and spending patterns. Some 58 percent said they purchased more at the store than they originally intended. Almost two-fifths said they had made an impulse buy. It isn't clear if these patterns are typical because this was the first time Gallup had measured household savings in this way.

The poll, conducted by landline and cellular phone, included a random sampling of 1,029 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. There was a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.


See related: 7 tips for saving time, money when shopping online, More infographics

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Updated: 01-19-2019