The American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, a survey that was conducted at the end of last year, showed that only 39% of affluent Americans were optimistic about finances going into 2013. That’s an improvement over last year, when only 35% of the respondents who earn $100,000 or more said they had a positive view of the future.
Saving money top priority
More people plan to save money this year than spend it, according to all the survey respondents. Some 57% said that saving money was their first priority in 2013.
Among those who do plan to spend more money this year than last, plans include buying clothes and cars, and traveling and dining. Home improvement was also on the agenda.
Here’s the breakdown of what the money will be spent on by those that plan to spend more:
- Clothes and accessories – 28%
- Buying a car – 26%
- Leisure travel – 26%
- Home redecorating – 24%
- Dining out – 19%
- Entertainment – 19%
- Buying major appliances – 17%
- Big home renovations – 11%
Jobs, debt and savings
Only 19% of those surveyed said that looking for a better job this year was a top goal, and 17% said that paying off debt was their most important goal.
Last year consumers saved an average of about $5,900, though they had hoped to save more in the range of $7,600. This year respondents are even more ambitious, planning to save an average of $10,900. Among the affluent population surveyed by AmEx, the goal was even higher – $22,660.
Plans to save money included cutting back on small luxuries like manicures and lattes and banking more money from paychecks and tax returns.