Even though a third of the parents polled by Discover last month said their finances were getting better, many said they planned to spend less this month than they did in August. That’s because most have already busted their budgets preparing their kids for school this month.
But while 32% of respondents with children at home rated their personal finances as improving in September, only 24% of all of those polled felt their finances were getting better. That 7% increase in optimistic parents over last month may be due to the slowdown they expect in spending now that the kids are off to school.
Not many folks reported having money to spare. The survey showed a decrease in the number of people who thought they would have funds left after the August bills were paid. Only 44% anticipated wiggle room in their budgets this month, compared to 47% last month.
Thoughts on the economy
Other survey findings included a dip in economic confidence, notably among the middle and upper class. For the first time since September 2012, more than half of survey respondents said they felt that the U.S. economy was on the decline. Only 17% of consumers surveyed in August rated the economy as good or excellent, compared with 20% that felt that way in July.
Just over half (51%) said the economy was getting worse, and among people making over $75,000 a year, there was a 9% jump in economic pessimists. Forty percent of them took the glass half-empty viewpoint.
Among the middle class—people making between $40,000 and $75,000 annually—52% had a dim view of the economy. That’s a 6% increase over last month. Just over half (54%) of the people taking home less than $40,000 per year said the economy was getting worse, which is on par with July’s figures.
The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor polls 8,200 people monthly to reveal trends in spending intentions, economic outlook and financial confidence among consumers.