The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants says 46 percent have been able to save money over the past year.Î¾ But that means more than half have not been able to save any of their income.Î¾ The accountant group's Susan Howe says it's caused people to adjust their lifestyles and become pro-active about money management.
"The primary thing a lot of people are doing is just really cutting back on discretionary spending.Î¾ I think the economic conditions over the last couple of years have really caused a lot of people to step back and re-evaluate what they're doing, financially, and the result is that half are saving.Î¾ A lot of households are still in distress at this point, you know, either one of more people unemployed or under-employed.Î¾ Hopefully, as the economy picks up a little bit, people will really go back to being able to save at a maximal level."Î¾Î¾
Howe says recent changes, such as required pay-off disclosures by credit card companies, have opened the eyes of a lot of people.
"The greater transparencies that the credit card companies are, you know, now forced to do--how long it can take to pay off your credit card if you only make the minimum payment--has really been an education for a lot of people.Î¾ I don't think that these were things that were getting enough focus before.Î¾ People are focused on this, and so it's an opportunity to get the message across.Î¾ But it's also been painful for most people, economically, and so like anything else, it has challenges and opportunities."Î¾Î¾
After the economy recovers, nine out of ten saving Americans plan to save the same amount or even more than they are now.