New Survey: Just 38 Percent of Consumers Say They Go the Extra Mile to Save Every Penny They Can on Expenses

More than half of consumers are unwilling to give up eating out to save for something important, according to a recent poll by American Consumer Credit Counseling.

Boston, MA – December 14, 2016

Separating Needs from WantsJust 38 percent of consumers are savvy savers and say they save every penny possible on expenses, according to a recent survey by American Consumer Credit Counseling. Thirty-seven percent of respondents save if the savings is significant, while almost 25 percent either feel saving isn’t worth the effort or they are not willing to live without certain luxuries.

About 77 percent of respondents say that they track their monthly expenses. Of those respondents, 47 percent say they track their spending regularly and 30 percent admit to only sometimes tracking their monthly spending.

“Saving is difficult, particularly in today’s economy, and it’s not surprising that consumers have differing views about how far they are willing to go to save on expenses,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “While it’s sometimes difficult to believe that every penny counts, it really does. Saving where you can and prioritizing important and necessary items can help consumers avoid living paycheck to paycheck and instead achieve healthy financial futures.”

While philosophies to saving differ, consumers generally understand the difference between financial needs and financial wants. According to the survey, 60 percent of consumers understand that a financial ‘need’ is defined as basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter.

Of the survey respondents, 30 percent consider a ‘want’ something that a consumer requires to go on living a happy life whereas 70 percent believe this statement is false. Almost 55 percent of respondents believe that a little extra purchase from time to time does not hurt, while 22 percent say impulse buys are “fun and spontaneous.”

Consumers also have strong ideas about what they are willing – and aren’t willing to give up – to save money. When consumers were asked what they would be willing to give up to save for important things, 43 percent of respondents say eating out, followed by cable TV (25 percent) and clothes shopping (24 percent). In an NFCC survey, 53 percent said they would never get rid of their cellphones. According to Smart About Money, 80 percent of Americans ranked internet as a nonnegotiable ‘must have’ that they would not be willing to give up.

The online poll of 113 budget conscious consumers was conducted by American Consumer Credit Counseling on the organization’s website, You can view an infographic illustrating the poll results here:

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt counseling, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education. Each month, ACCC invites consumers to participate in a poll focused on personal finance issues. The results are conveyed in the form of infographics that act as tools to educate the community on everyday consumer debt issues and problems. By learning more about financial management topics such as credit and debt management, consumers are empowered to make the best possible financial decisions to reach debt relief. As one of the nation’s leading providers of personal finance education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help determine the best possible debt solutions for themACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). To participate in this month’s poll, visit and for more financial management resources visit