Did you know that Americans’ financial confidence is on the rise? And, with it, a willingness to spend a little more? Well those are the findings from a recent report by the “American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.” Compared to a year ago, 81 percent of employed Americans feel at least as stable as they did in their jobs. As such, consumers are on track to spend or have already spent at least what they projected to spend for the year by September. That’s great news for retail! So how does it break down? Read on for more details…
As the holiday season approaches, 51 percent of Americans say they will make a large purchase before Jan. 1, on items like a new TV (25 percent), home appliance or furniture (20 percent), car (19 percent) or travel (13 percent). They plan to spend an average of $2,100 on their largest purchase.
At the same time, perhaps after a lackluster savings year in 2012, consumers reported in January 2013 raising their savings goal for the year to $10,893, with many on target by saving nearly $10,000 by September. Top savings strategies included funneling money from primary income; tax returns; and cutting back on small indulgences.
More than 60 percent of Americans are pinching pennies by seeking out discounts and coupons. Email promotions (25 percent) make up the largest piece of the pie; followed by coupon aggregators like RetailMeNot and deal sites like Groupon (each at 12 percent); and social media (9 percent).
With all of our saving, our fashion sense will not be left behind. American Express reports that 73 percent of Americans plan to refresh their wardrobes with the latest fall fashions. More than half will visit department stores, with 38 percent buying online. Others report planning to hit discount stores (37 percent), retail chains (34 percent) and boutiques (9 percent). Flash sale sites will reap some benefit, with only 6 percent of shoppers reporting purchasing there.
Leisure travel is back, with 56 percent of Americans having already traveled for fun in 2013. Another 52 percent have made these plans for the remainder of the year. More than 65 percent plan to travel with a spouse or significant other, while 14 percent plan to travel solo.
Slowly but surely, it seems that consumers are trying to get back to their old ways of spending more freely on the finer things in life. But this time, they are hedging their bets with a healthy dose of saving.
—Erin M. Loewe