Discover: Consumers Feeling Better About Their Finances

Discover cardsDespite lingering pessimism about the U.S. economy, consumers are feeling better about their personal finances, according to Discover’s U.S. Spending Monitor, a monthly glimpse into Americans’ financial outlook.
In January, more consumers said their finances were in good shape or improving. If you’d like to improve the state of your finances you could switch energy provider as a way of cutting down on your outgoings.
However, if you are looking at borrowing money, or just want some information on whether or not getting a loan is right for you, there is a lot of information out there for you on how to get the facts on borrowing if you are interested. In fact, there are many, many resources out there designed to help people not only understand the issues they will face when they are responsible for their own finances, but also how to make the best decisions concerning them. For example, www.teachmepersonalfinance.com offers advice on general money management as well as investing and other ways of making money. Perhaps thanks to these, overall, 34 percent rated their personal finances as good or excellent – a 3-point increase from December and a 9-month high, Discover said.
Moreover, 22 percent felt their personal finances were getting better, also a 3-point increase from December – and a 17-month high. Twenty-four percent currently rate their personal finances as poor and 47 percent feel their finances are getting worse.
Discover Financial Services, which operates the Discover Card, surveyed a random sample of 8,200 adults as part of its monthly index of “consumer spending intentions and capacity.” Surveys are conducted by Rasmussen Reports.
Its U.S. Spending Monitor rose 2.2 points in January to 85.2, out of 100, driven mainly by the upbeat sentiment on personal finances.
However, these same consumers are “holding the line” when it comes to spending, continuing prudent habits assumed after the holidays, Discover said.
“Consumers appear to be holding steady on their spending patterns,” said Julie Loeger, senior vice president of brand and product management for Discover. “The economy remains a concern to them and they are likely to be conservative with spending until there are signs that the economy is improving.”
Fifty-three percent said they expect to spend the same in February as they did in January, a 9-point increase from last month’s survey.
“But discretionary purchases like going out to the movies or restaurants, and major purchases like a vacation are still being cut by a majority of consumers,” Discover said.

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