A failing average score of 62 out of 100 on a frugality test highlights the significant need for Americans to change how they think about money. Just 48% say they live on less than they make each month.
Seattle, WA (
The Frugal Test uncovered some interesting statistics about the money habits of Americans:
- Just 48% say they live on less than they make each month.
- 29% pay bills first and then see what's left over for other things, instead of putting away money for themselves upfront.
- 27% make only the minimum monthly payment, plus a little more, on their credit cards.
- 38% don't make an additional principle payment on their mortgages each year.
- 39% buy bottled water or a prepared beverage more than three times a week.
- 50% dine out more than three times per week.
- 38% save just 5% or less of their take home pay.
- Only 27% have an emergency savings fund.
- Only 19% partner up with a financial advisor to manage their money.
- Only 21% who qualify for health savings accounts take advantage of them.
- Only 32% who could use educational savings accounts do so.
- 37% don't have a will.
- 60% don't have a revocable/living trust.
- In a question about American's most favorite things to spend their money on, investments came in at 10% which was tied with hobbies, and entertainment. Only two categories ranked higher, travel (14%) and home improvements (13%), while buying shoes and clothes came in slightly lower (9%).
"We will have a hard time personally surviving this tough economy if we don't start practicing frugality. But being frugal is not the same as being cheap," says Lehman. "There are plenty of reasons for the current financial crisis we are in, but ultimately we have to take some personal responsibility for our actions. We can fix our financial problems, but we have to be smarter about money sooner than later," he adds.
Those who want to know just how frugal they are can still take The Frugal Test by visiting
The Frugal Millionaires is available for pre-sale now at Amazon.com. On-sale date is October 15, 2008. Visit