Faced with financial hardship, Americans are more likely to cut back on dining out and television than their cell phones.
A survey from the American Institution of CPA's finds that, in a financial pinch, 41% of Americans would cut back on dining out and 20% said they would cut off cable or satelite television. Only 8% said they would end their cell phone service.
Only a small number would take actions that could hurt their long-term financial well-being, with 2 percent saying they would stop contributions to retirement accounts, 1 percent choosing to skip utility payments and 1 percent putting off rent or mortgage payments.
The results come as 94 percent of American adults said they have financial concerns of one sort or another. Four in 10 adults, 41 percent, identified basic living expenses—including the cost of gas, uninsured medical expenses and lack of emergency savings—as their top financial concern. A quarter, 27 percent, said their main concerns are related to long-term goals, such as paying for education and saving for retirement. Worries about jobs, homes and caring for aging parents rounded out the list.
“For the first time in three years gas prices—not retirement—is the top financial concern in America,” Amin said. “Every time we fill up we’re reminded that the cost of living is higher. Budgeting is key to ensure that we make it through these challenges and focus on long-term goals.”