Despite the common image of Americans as lavish, a recent survey has revealed otherwise. In fact, the findings conclude that Americans are even more frugal than Italians and Germans when it comes to giving up credit cards.
The study, which made use of data collected from eight countries, revealed that a large percentage of Americans are ready to put down their cards in order to save money. Some 46 percent of American respondents are willing to avoid using plastic to save more money. The Germans and Italians, on the other hand, got 11 and 17 percent, respectively. The U.S. bested all other countries included in the survey.
Financial experts are also seeing a rare trend in the U.S. More and more Americans are diverting their incomes to their savings. The economic slump is thought to be the primary factor for the sudden shift in the way Americans thinks about money.
However, not all luxuries can be given up quite easily. Researchers also asked respondents to name three things they would never sacrifice no matter how bad the economy gets. Thirty percent of Americans interviewed said that their cars would be the last to go. The French and Spaniards, on the other hand, are much more willing to give up their cars with 14 and 18 percent, respectively.
Americans are also more inclined to keep their pets compared to the French and Italians. Pets garnered 22 percent of the votes from Americans while only 15 percent of the French felt the same. Italians also cared less about losing their pets, with only 12 percent saying that their animal companions would be the last to go.
The global economic slump has also affected another crucial aspect of many Americans' existence - their love life. According to the survey, 29 percent of the Americans who participated in the survey cited the recession as having strained or troubled relationships with their spouses or significant others. The figure is followed closely by the French, 24 percent, and the Canadians with 23 percent. Only 12 percent of Germans believe that the poor economy has affected their romantic prospects.
Fifty-one percent of Americans also admitted trying to save money by preparing their lunch at home instead of eating elsewhere. Most Italians, however, prefer to eat outside, with only 11 percent preparing their lunch back home. Only 11 percent of Germans admitted bringing packed lunch to work.
The U.S., however, lags behind Austria and France when it comes to viewing emergencies as the most important savings goal.