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Are Americans spenders or savers?

We’re good savers — but with room for improvement.

Feel like you’re struggling to save? Take heart: Finder’s analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reveals Americans might be better savers than they think.

The United States ranks 12th out of 27 OECD countries for percentage of disposable income saved, ahead of countries like Canada, Australia and Poland but behind Slovenia, Ireland and Sweden. When ranking countries based on the total dollar amount saved, the United States jumps to fifth place, leapfrogging countries with higher savings rates but lower average disposable incomes, like the Netherlands, Korea, Hungary and Ireland.

Are Americans saving enough money?

American households are forecast to save 6.88% of their disposable income in 2020. Using the average disposable income of $45,284, that equates to $3,116 dollars a year. While that figure might not sound like a lot when compared with the $7,103 Luxembourgers are set to save, it adds up. If you put $260 a month into a savings account with an interest rate of 2.57% a month (play around with our calculator below to see how much you could save), over 15 years you could save $57,027 — more than $10,000 of it pure interest.

However considering America has the highest disposable income of OECD countries included, you’d expect the savings rate to be higher. Luxembourg — the country with the best savers — has an average disposable income of $39,264, which is $6,020 less than America. Yet, they have a much higher forecasted savings rate of 18.09%. The Swiss and the Swedes come in a close second and third, both with savings rates over 17%, and the Germans fourth, with a rate of over 10%. If Americans put away the same percentage as the Luxembourgers they’d be putting away an extra $8,192 or if they matched the Germans, $4,741.

CountrySavings rateAnnual savings*
United States6.88%$3,116

*Based on the average American household’s disposable income

Trying to boost your savings?

Thanks to the power of compound interest, the earlier you start saving, the better. But the best news? No matter your age, it’s never too late to put money away for your future.

Here are Finder’s top tips to save more:

  1. Find the best interest rate you’re eligible for. Above, we saw that by putting away $260 a month, we could save more than $57,000 over 15 years at an interest rate of 2.57%. At an interest rate of 1.5%, you’d end up with almost $6,000 less. It pays to have the strongest rate, so shop around and compare your savings options.
  2. Save more of your disposable income. Another way to supercharge that nest egg is to save more of your disposable income. If you’re able to boost your annual savings to $4,000 — an extra $73.66 a month — you’d have more than $73,000 in the bank, assuming a 2.57% interest rate compounded monthly over 15 years. Learning to think critically about the money you’re spending can help you say no to discretionary purchases — and put those extra savings straight into your bank account.
  3. Increase your disposable income. It might be easier said than done, but maybe it’s time to go for that promotion or pick up a side hustle. Try gigs like driving for Lyft or renting your spare bedroom to see what works for you. Also look to reduce your expenses: Changing banks, transferring credit cards or switching insurance providers might sound like a hassle, but if you compare your options, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars every year with just a few minutes of work.
If you’re not in a position to save more (or you just don’t want to right now), don’t beat yourself up. You’re likely saving more than Lithuanians. Lithuania takes the cake for worst savers. In fact, they don’t save at all, achieving a negative savings rate of -3.42% of their disposable income. The same is true for residents of Spain, New Zealand, Latvia and Finland, who all spend more money than they save. Ouch!

For media inquiries:

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Nicole Gallina
Communications Coordinator

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