Overspending--Not the Recession--Is the Reason for Inadequate Savings, Suggests New Financial Poll

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A new poll by leading financial education sites MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org indicates that even among the sites' relatively savvy visitors, poor spending habits are hard to shake. The majority of poll respondents said they will fail to meet their 2009 savings goals--and of those, the majority said the culprit was overspending rather than the recession. While it is heartening that the recession wasn't the reason for many blown savings goals, the implication of this poll is that many can't seem to control their spending, even in a tough economy.

Americans trying to save money found it tough going in 2009, according to a new poll by prominent financial education Web sites MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org. In an informal online survey, visitors to both Web sites were asked, "Are you on track for meeting your savings goal for 2009?"

The majority of those surveyed reported that they were falling short of their savings goals for 2009. A majority of those who were not on track--or 34 percent of all poll respondents--admitted that their failure was caused by overspending rather than the recession. Of the other respondents, less than half (46 percent) said that they managed to stay on track to hit their annual savings goals, while 20 percent predicted a shortfall attributable to economic pressures.

These poll results indicate that a large number of people appear to have trouble controlling spending habits, even in an economic downturn. Even with the recession's effects easing, many households still have to work to get savings on track for retirement and other objectives.

"It's a little disturbing that even in tough economic times, so many people were unable to rein in spending," MoneyRates.com Spokesperson, Richard Barrington said. "These poll results show that even as we move from recession to recovery, the emphasis has to stay on saving money."

Barrington concluded that the poll indicates a gulf between savings goals that people set in theory and their day-to-day lifestyles. J.D. Roth, the founder of GetRichSlowly.org, agreed:

"I think it's great that so many people make saving a priority," Roth said. "When you have money in the bank, you just have so many more options. Still, it's clear that many people continue to struggle with compulsive spending. As a former shopaholic, I can relate, and I'd urge everyone to do what they can to develop the saving habit."

Visitors to both MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org can access educational articles and interest rate reports to help them with setting and achieving their financial goals. Barrington's article, which explains this poll and its implications in greater detail, is available at http://www.money-rates.com/news/Hard_Habit_to_Break_Even_in_a_Recession_Many_Americans_Overspend.htm.

MoneyRates.com has been a leading source of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing since 1999. The site provides the highest rates on certificates of deposits, money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts.

GetRichSlowly.org--recently named most inspiring money blog by Money magazine--is devoted to sensible personal finance. Since 2006, founder J.D. Roth has been sharing with thousands of daily readers what he has learned about debt elimination, saving money and practical investing.

Richard Barrington and J.D. Roth are available for interviews on this topic and other topics relating to personal saving and investing. To interview Richard or J.D., please contact:

Jessica Austin


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