AUSTIN, Texas, April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- RetailMeNot (www.retailmenot.com), the most widely used digital coupon site in the United States, today released the financial literacy edition of its Shoppers Trend Report, revealing a post-recession shift in saving and spending behaviors among U.S. residents.
According to the results of a survey conducted by The Omnibus Company (http://www.omnibus.com) on behalf of RetailMeNot, consumers are nearly unanimous (93%) in the belief that saving money in their everyday lives is important. The survey also found that more than 6 in 10 respondents (61%) are saving about the same or more money per month than they were five years ago.
"Consumers are emerging from the Recession of 2008 having learned a valuable lesson, that saving money is a good thing," says Trae Bodge, senior editor for RetailMeNot. "Gone are the days of racking up our credit card bills with retail therapy and shopping with abandon. Today's consumers have higher expectations for what they can do with their hard-earned paychecks. They also want more for their money and are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that they get it."
Shopping behaviors and attitudes
Compared with five years ago, nearly half of respondents are spending less on meals at restaurants (49%), expensive groceries (44%) and new clothes (46%).
Reliance on discounts is stronger today, with more than half (51%) of consumers who use coupons stating that they use them more than they did five years ago and 37% stating that they use coupons more than they did a year ago.
A majority of respondents (74%) state that economic factors contributed to their increase in coupon usage over the last five years, either because their personal finances declined (43%) or because the recession made them more conscious about the importance of saving (31%). Additionally, 23 percent of respondents indicate that they use coupons more now because technology makes it easier to find and use them.
Overall, the perception of couponing is positive, as indicated by nearly 6 in 10 respondents considering people who use coupons to be "savvy" (59%) versus "cheap" (9%). In fact, 71 percent of respondents would consider using a coupon on a date and wouldn't try to hide it!
"Today's consumer is informed and discerning in their spending behaviors," adds Bodge. "Couponing as a necessity gave people a taste for savings, and consumers will continue to look for ways to get more for their money."
Credit Card Usage
Survey respondents who use credit cards report having an average of three major credit cards. While 43 percent are more likely to carry a balance on their credit cards than pay off the entire amount at the end of each month, a majority (71%) of this group typically carries a balance under $1,000.
Cash back rewards is the most popular credit card incentive (54%).
Almost half (48%) of survey respondents save and/or invest their money in low interest savings or money market accounts at a bank, and more than one-third (34%) invest in a personal retirement account, such as a 401(k) or IRA.
Interest in commodities like gold and silver is limited—as only 6 percent of U.S. residents surveyed are actively investing in these commodities.
It's important to note that only 10% of parents surveyed are saving for their children's future education through a 529 plan or college-focused savings plan.
Financial Literacy Education
As part of an ongoing commitment to educating and empowering a smarter consumer, RetailMeNot is proud to announce that it will continue its partnership with financial literacy nonprofit Junior Achievement USA.
Junior Achievement USA will continue to serve as a regular contributor to the Savings Campaign section of RetailMeNot's online magazine, The Real Deal by RetailMeNot, delivering insights on topics relating to youth financial literacy and family finances.
"From sponsoring fundraising events to developing a couponing curriculum to teach savings principles, RetailMeNot has served as a valuable partner in supporting Junior Achievement's financial education and empowerment programs," said Dave Swincher, president of Junior Achievement of Central Texas. "We're excited to continue contributing to RetailMeNot's Savings Campaign, sharing practical advice and insights to inform a financially healthier consumer."
To learn more about the Savings Campaign and read posts from personal finance expert Jean Chatzky, Emmy Award–winning technology expert Katie Linendoll and writers from Junior Achievement USA, visit The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.
The survey was conducted between March 25 and April 1, 2013, among 1,101 United States residents ages 18 and over, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.
RetailMeNot.com (www.retailmenot.com) is the most widely used digital coupon site in the United States. Our mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience. Since November 2006, our users have shared hundreds of thousands of deals and offers from retailers. Online coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and expired coupons drop down the list. RetailMeNot.com is operated by RetailMeNot, Inc., the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals.
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About RetailMeNot, Inc.
RetailMeNot, Inc. (www.retailmenot.com/corp) is the world's leading digital coupon marketplace. The company's websites enable consumers across the globe seeking to save money to find hundreds of thousands of digital coupons from retailers.
RetailMeNot, Inc. experienced more than 450 million consumer visits to its sites in 2012. The RetailMeNot, Inc. portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes www.RetailMeNot.com, the leading digital coupon site in the United States; www.VoucherCodes.co.uk, the leading digital coupon site in the United Kingdom; www.Deals.com in Germany; www.ActiePagina.nl, a leading digital coupon site in the Netherlands; Bons-de-Reduction.com and www.Poulpeo.com, leading digital coupon and cash back sites in France; and www.Deals2Buy.com, a leading discount offer site in North America.
Allison+Partners Public Relations