Americans spent less this past holiday season

Americans report reduced holiday spending

Posted on 1/30/13 1:14:00 PM

Americans who went shopping during the holidays looked to get as many of their loved ones presents as they could, but some fell short, according to recently released research published by Bankrate.com.

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, and also showed Americans reported an increase in their sentiment in reference to their job security, net worth, savings and overall financial situations.

The source revealed that 28 percent of Americans spent less money than they were expected to during the holiday season in 2012 and 16 percent of Americans spent more than they expected. The statistics held consistent across all age groups, with only the group under 30 years of age reporting a slight increase in spending more than expected.

"These results illustrate that the fiscal cliff was hardly the only headwind impacting the U.S. economy," said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's senior financial analyst. "Yes, the resolution brought some temporary relief, but the economy continues to plod along in first gear. It's going to take sustained, substantive job growth in order for Americans to feel considerably better about their financial security."

Financial Security Index increases
The source also revealed that its Financial Security Index increased by three points to 98.6 in January, which was the biggest increase in 13 months. When the index is below 100, it's an indicator that Americans' financial security is lower than it was in the previous year.

The number reported for the index was still lower than the reading that was reported in October of 99.2 despite January having the largest increase in 13 months. Americans would like to avoid the Financial Security Index going below 100, since it indicates that Americans' financial security is lower than it was in the previous year.

KNS Financial recently suggested a few tips that could get Americans on track to putting more money away in their basic savings accounts in 2013. The first suggestion is to take coffee out of the monthly budget. The price of coffee can add up over the course of the year and Americans might be able to save hundreds by forgoing their morning cup of joe.

Packing a lunch could also save hundreds and maybe thousands during the course of the year. Going out for lunch every day can be costly and put Americans in troubling financial positions if they aren't careful with their spending.