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Why can't Americans save money?

For a short time, Americans seemed to be born-again savers. In the second quarter of 2009, in the depths of the Great Recession, households put away 7 percent of disposable income, compared with under 2 percent in the third quarter of 2007. Yet the savings rate is falling again, down to 5.3 percent in December.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/02/08/why-americans-cant-save-money?ref=opinion&nl=opinion&emc=tya3

What's our problem?

Answer Question
 
UpSheRises

Asked by UpSheRises at 1:38 PM on Feb. 9, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 31 (48,798 Credits)
Answers (32)
  • Why can't Americans save money?

    Real State is too expensive
    MMXI

    Answer by MMXI at 1:40 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Everything is going up! Gas prices, food prices, medical prices, taxes, etc. Then we have the banks who got big fat loans from the GOVT, - OUR $$$$, at a zero percent interest rate- while they give us a mere 1% or less interest on our savings accts. And then they have the nerve to double the interest rates on credit cards & bank loans, (if you can even get one) for those that are in good standing. Who can save when Uncle Sam & everyone else is picking our pockets?
    mrsmom110

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 1:44 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Credit cards and instant gratification.
    wishbearmom

    Answer by wishbearmom at 1:49 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Because the American culture is all about reaching more, more, more, more. Nothing is ever good enough. Many people will not save money in attempt to acheive the ideal "American Dream", while others will never have a savings because they will always have just enough to scrape by even if the American dream is far from sight.
    Namaste17

    Answer by Namaste17 at 1:50 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • oh man is this a loaded question. how much time do you have?
    lots of reasons, money is a mindset not a situation and money has to be left alone longterm to yield anything.
    TV, commercials, malls, newspaper ads, CM with all this advertising forced on you, it all adds up to buying. Repetative buying for the most part.
    Basically there are 4 forms of buying.
    Buying as a need, not an investment ( toilet paper)
    Buying as a need, investment ( house car)
    Buying as a want not an investment ( ipods, toys, gadgets, most clothing)
    Buying as a want an investment ( jewelry, collectibles, antiques)
    When people learn to only buy on an as needed investment basis only, They can start saving again. Americans, especially women, buy stuff to make themselves feel better. When the mind is right, shopping is not required.
    jewjewbee

    Answer by jewjewbee at 1:54 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Remember we're talking about disposable income...i don't consider money spent on "needs" disposable income.
    UpSheRises

    Comment by UpSheRises (original poster) at 1:55 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I can't speak for ALL Americans - But.... our circumstances certainly put a huge dent in our ability to save.


    It costs the average American MORE than minimum wage to live for ONE HOUR --- say you work for 40 hours a week (making minimum wage).... you still have to live over a hundred more hours in that week and those 100 hours are hours that you aren't being compensated for. Now that's an eye opener. The sheer cost of living compared to average compensation keeps many people working in a deficit all the time.
    ShelbyShareAlot

    Answer by ShelbyShareAlot at 1:55 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • To many feel that buying increases their personal value.
    tootoobusy

    Answer by tootoobusy at 1:58 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Sorry USR, I never considered any of my income as disposable.
    jewjewbee

    Answer by jewjewbee at 1:59 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I think its harder to save right now is why. My husband and I always had a great savings account until his lay offs. We ended up having to use our savings to survive. Now even though he is working and we put back as much as we used to, our electric, food, water etc bills have all increased so we end up having to go into our savings anyway. I think once prices are back under control then there will be more being saved atleast by our family.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 2:00 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

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